What's Mine Is Yours

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm Getting Older, Too.

We went to visit our alma mater this weekend, for beer and football and tailgating and sportsmanship.

It was nice; my parents met us there and we introduced them to friends and ate their food and I tried, for no other reason than fun, to make my mother think (mistakenly) that I am pregnant (i.e., not drinking, taking it easy, frequently tired, crabby and, when she asked point-blank, not on birth control).

Post-tailgate, my mother grabbed my cell phone and announced, apropos nothing, that she was going to call my grandmother, just to check in.
She entered in the number, waited, and hilarity ensued as we realized that she had forgotten to hit send.

She waited.

My aunt, her twin sister, answered the phone.

My grandmother and my mom's sister live an hour apart.

My twin sister had been trying to get in touch with my mother all day; it turned out that I had a collection of voicemails on my phone from various family members.

My grandmother had had a heart attack.

She'd been airlifted from our podunk hometown to bigger town.

She was in an ICU unit.

Blah, blah, fucking blah.

My parents went home, telling me not to worry, to go back to the hotel, to hit up college bars. I curled up in the hotel room bed, phone under my pillow, in tears.

My phone was silent. No calls, no text messages, no IMs.

Nothing.

I wanted news; any news, good, bad, nothing, anything.

The next morning, we drove home, not knowing which direction we were best advised to go in.

We went south when I really wanted to go east. We went to sleep when I really wanted to stay awake. We did nothing when I really, really wanted to do something.

Anything.

I do nothing. That's my role as far away, daughter who grew up and moved on. It's moments like these when I wish that I hadn't. But I've always kept my family close in my heart and they've never been closer than they are right now.

I could go home.

I could be there in three and a half hours.

But somehow I think, by heeding my parents words -- she's out of ICU, she's doing better -- that I'm making it better.

I'm making it less important.

I'm making it a smaller bump.

I'm making it mean less. And I want it to mean nothing, I want it to be a blip, a tiny malfunction on the satellite screen of my grandmother's life. I don't want this to be the end.

And by staying here and acting normally, somehow, I feel like I'm making a difference.

But deep down inside, I know that I'm not.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Things I Acquired in the Month of August

a new (male) roommate
a new address
two of every condiment
a cat tree
floor-to-ceiling windows
a lot of Ikea furniture
the right to honestly claim to have written one of the lists on McSweeney's
a pair of Uggs
approximately five pounds, three of which were quickly lost
an addiction to the show Teachers
a creeping, unshakeable sense of sadness (along with the rest of the country, i think)