Saturday, January 17th
I call Grandma's hospital room. They had taken her in on Friday night. Diagnosis? Double Pneumonia. At 92.
"Hello?" I don't recognize the voice for a second. I have never heard her so subdued before.
"Hello?" She says again.
"Come on, Grandma," I say. "Why can't you just be like everyone else? The rest of us get just normal pneumonia, and you have to go get double pneumonia!"
"It's triple pneumonia!" She insists in a stern voice, before she begins to laugh.
"How are you doing?"
"Well, I am thinking of a way to break out of this place without anyone catching me."
I laugh, "I could fly my private jet over and we could go to the Bahamas where nobody could find us."
"Yes, yes." She says, "And after I spend enough time down there I'll look so beautiful that no one will recognize me."
"Exactly! No one will be able to find you to put you back in the hospital."
"I'll just tell them to look up pictures of the Bahamas, find the most beautiful person there, and that would be me."
We both laugh.
"I still can't believe how you shot up so fast! When did that happen?"
"I wanted to excel in something," I tell her "so I choose height."
We make a couple more jokes and then I hear her say "hello?" before she drops the phone.
I called her again today. She is doing worse. As soon as I say hi she begins the ritual praising that she does whenever she talks to any of her grandchildren. Today she can only get out about five adjectives in a low voice telling me that I the "Sweetest, most wonderful, kind, considerate, angelic..." Most of the time we get at least fifteen.
"You know that we all get it from you, Grandma."
"Well, I am glad you realize where it came from."
"I've arranged the personal jet. We can take off anytime you are ready."
"Now, is it at least a ten day stay?" Grandma asks, with a tone implying that if it's not I'm out of luck."
"I was thinking at least three weeks."
She laughs and I inquire how she's feeling.
"Not very good, but I'll be just fine. I've just got to shape up and ship out." She emphasizes the impatience in her voice.
"Well, I love you, and take care of yourself." She says, tired.
"I love you too, Grandma."
"I love you, be good, and take care of yourself."
Grandpa, Grandma, Me, Kip