Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mitzvahs from sad circumstances.

A mitzvah is a Jewish (or Hebrew really) term for a good deed, or a kind gesture, or volunteering. When you help an old lady carry her groceries, it's a mitzvah. I think you get it. Well, after I came home, it was one mitzvah after the next, but they were all in the face of illness.

I went to see my grandpa next store right when I got home, and he told me my grandma went into the hospital last night. Even though he was in good spirits, I could tell he was worried. Something about her colon. I ate the last lemon cookie. If something happens to my grandma, it could be the last cookie of hers I will ever eat. I love her cookies, especially at Christmas.

I went to Nelly's, my 80ish year old neighbor, who loves me so much and might as well be my grandma, for goodness sakes, I call her Nana. She gave me a necklace, of the Star of David. She had wanted to get me one for almost a year, and she finally had my mom buy one and let her give it to me. It's small, and had a light pink stone, it's beautiful. Nelly is beautiful. She's saving money so she can buy her ticket to Germany so my mom can take her when I'm student teaching there next spring, that's the cutest thing I have ever heard. I can't wait for their visit and I'm not even there yet!

I had to go see my grandma, but my dad didn't want to. So as I was leaving for the hospital, my mom said she was go with me. We chatted the whole way, I love talking to my mom, maybe more than anything I can think of right now. I love sleeping with my head on her stomach. When we got there, my grandma looked terrible. Her hair was matted down from sleep, no glasses, little moaning, in a daze, IV, bruises on her arms. I held her hand, she really didn't want to talk. She didn't want visitors or phone calls. She was in a lot of pain and it was hard to watch. My whole life she's been a feisty, sassy, controlling bitch. I love it. I'm similar and I'm proud of being like her, but this helpless state was so out of the norm. She said, "I think you have a scream and yell around here for anyone to know you're in pain." I just replied, "Well, grandma, that's really not your style." and she agreed. The doctor told her a lot of what was happening and she could go to ICU or have surgery. Of course she chose ICU, it really was the best decision for tonight.

Then to my horror, the doctor asked what he should do if her heart stopped over night, or if her blood pressure rose. She said don't do anything. I knew that would be her answer, but I didn't think things were that serious. I just tried to breathe, but that proved difficult. The doctor left and I asked her about her Last Rights. I don't know anything about it, it's a Catholic thing, but I remember my dad telling me something about it. She said grandpa should call the priest from St. Pats, that's who she wanted if something happened, I was relieved to know, really I didn't want her to have to worry about anything like that. After a kiss goodbye, I was standing in the hall waiting for my mom. The tears just started streaming down my face. I really couldn't stop. My mom came and gave her "baby girl" a hug and giggled at me for crying. I don't cry, my family doesn't cry, we don't cry, but I was crying, the sooner I would stop the better.

Nelly called after we had been home for an hour or so. Grace, the older lady that lives with her had fallen. My mom and I went to help her get up. Another scary moment. She was bleeding, but I'm not sure from where, but there was blood on the floor. She was in bed, and I just wanted to leave. I kissed Nelly goodbye, out the door, my mom and I both said..."too many mitzvahs for one day."

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