But you can thank us later for the things we've handed down

by Amy Turn Sharp


My gran is tucked into a long term care unit in my hometown hospital after spending last week in the ICU here in Columbus, Ohio. She fell and hit her head and had a small brain bleed. She also has a heart that is not working well- not even for a 90 year old. She is passing out intermittently and falling. She thinks she will only be there for ten days.

She is convinced she will soon go home to live alone on her hill and bake the pies that seduce the neighborhood and give her free rides into town. She is certain she will soon resume her duties as church treasurer and ladies club craft leader. She has a schedule. She is stubborn. I listen to her, but safe in my house where she can't see my tears, I know this is not going to happen. I have talked to my grandmother everyday of my life on the telephone since I was a kid. The only times we have not talked daily was when I lived in Europe. I know her. And this kills me.

She made the boys both a kimono style gown when they were born and just days before she fell she told me she was upset that she had not made this new baby one yet. She said she would get on it. I told her not to worry about it as I held the phone between my ear and shoulder while doing dishes.
It's no big I think I said to her.

Yesterday I smoothed the wrinkles from the gowns as I unpacked them from small boxes.
I pressed them into the bed and looked at how tiny they were.
I felt sad like warm rain.
I wanted another one to be there too.
I want this child to know her too.
I want life to slow down a bit.


title from Marc Cohn song