Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Circle of Life

I have been struggling with how much personal info to bring here, stuff not about being a Mean Mommy, not about kids. Frankly, with how little I've been blogging lately, I may not have any readers anymore, so this may be a moot point. I guess, though, this isn't so much about having kids as it is about being a kid, or about me being a kid. I hope if I still have readers they understand.

This is about my Gran, my Mom's mom.

I like to think of Gran as a real "broad." As a child, she would teach me Yiddish curses that translated to things like, "May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground!" She also taught me that you always dress for the theater, and it never hurts to have "your people" at places like your bank, your department store, and your favorite restaurant.

The week before last, she fell and broke her hip, in that horrid way that only elderly people can do, requiring surgery and a rod to put the pieces back together. As we feared, she did not do well. Pain control was difficult to achieve, and she was too stubborn and tired to go to rehab. My uncle decided to have her transferred to hospice last week, and on Thursday morning, she died, surrounded by my uncle, aunt, and cousins. Ironically (and blessedly), Patrick and I were already in Oklahoma for myhigh school reunion when we got the call. She will be buried here in OK next to my grandfather and near my mother, where she wanted to be since the day Mom died. I am so glad I was here so I could help with local arrangements.

So I've been thinking a lot about what goes into making us who we are. Gran was a big part of it. Sort of your typical New York Jewish grandmother, lots of guilt and mixed messages-- "Eat, eat!" "You're putting on some weight, you have such a pretty face..." but not really the warm, cuddly, bake you cookies type. She was the epitome of a "real lady," always well put together, got her hair and nails done weekly. Always gracious to people, even when she didn't feel like it. When you think about it, for a role model, I could have had worse.

Hopefully the injection of some personal stuff in here will be a good thing. Only time (and comments) will tell.