I got a call from my brother yesterday. My grandmother needs a second operation. They had to put a stint in her heart and now have to do another bypass surgery.
“She’s going to be ok. I just found out. Dad called me and told me to get over here.”
I really feel like I should be going home. I’m worried despite being told not to.
“Do you want to talk to her? When you do, don’t mention the surgery. She’s scared and we want to keep her in good spirits.”
I stammered with my words. What do I say to her? I’ll tell her about my weekend. It should have been easy. It was disastrous.
“Um so I hear the weather there is hotter than it is here now.”
“It’s humid here. In the 90s. What about over there?”
Weather? She’s in a hospital. She can’t go outside to enjoy or dislike it. Great going Jena. That was smooth. Must… try and make this better.
“Oh it’s nice. I’m riding the bike everywhere. I hate cars..”
I need to change the subject here. What to say? What to say?
“So I’m sending postcards to Germany and Japan today Gram.”
“Oh wow that’s neat. Did you get any new ones recently?”
“I got one from Taipei this weekend. Some recent ones from China and a few other places.”
Ok that conversation is dead. Erm…
“I saw a movie this weekend that you’d probably have liked.”
“Oh really which one?”
“The Graduate. Do you remember that one?”
“Yes. Old movie with Dustin Hoffman. Where did you see it?”
Fuck. I did it to myself. There’s no way I’m going to tell her where I saw it. Not with her in there.
“In a park. It’s where I saw Funny Face last weekend. This coming weekend they’re showing East of Eden.”
“Oh that James Dean film.”
My brother pulled the phone. I heard beeping in the background.
I worried in that half second that the last conversation I may have had with my grandmother was about watching movies in a cemetary.
“Oh my god. Is she ok? What’s that beeping?”
“It’s one of the machines. Don’t worry. I think it’s the cell phone causing it. We’re going to ask them about it now.”
“Are you away from earshot from her?”
Thirty seconds later:
“Yes I’m away from her now.”
“Please tell me I didn’t just kill her with talks of a heartthrob of her time… Aww fuck. I can’t talk at all here. I’m walking on eggshells.”
My kid brother chuckled.
“No. You didn’t. It’s seriously going to be ok. She’s active and in bed. It will be fine. I promise.”
I’m off to the store to get her a postcard and have some time on the road now. What a day. I just hope she’s ok.