Every now and then my grandmother calls my parents having a meltdown—she has chest pains, pain in her arm, a headache, she’s shaky, her stomach is upset, all at once. My mama has been caretaker to all of my grandparents over the course of the last 20 years so when these phone calls happen about once every 2 months, she goes into amateur nurse mode and rushes over to check on her. Today I met mama out there to make sure everything was okay and mammaw was too anxious to drink any water, too shaky to walk, too sick to come home with us. After we sat with her for a little while and checked her vitals, she began to calm down some and with the help of nitroglycerine, things seemed to get a little better. Mama needed to go start dinner so I offered to stay with mammaw a while to make sure she was okay.
I asked if she’d rather I go home so she could rest and she replied in her post-stroke speak, “No! All day, it’s just me. No cars and no one. Stay with me!”
So mama went home and I stayed there, talking to mammaw about everything I could think of. Anything to keep her laughing and not thinking of how she was feeling. She told me about the squirrels that are driving her crazy running across the roof, that having 2 newspapers on the same days of the week is confusing.
She asked, “are your dogs good?”
I told her about the scuffle a few days ago, about Baker’s surgery. She got tickled by the whole thing. She kept sipping the ice water I had brought out for her. And before you know it, I was checking her blood pressure and finding it close to normal, she was taking me to the kitchen to give me Tums, and everything was fine.
I told her, “next time you feel bad, just call me. I’ll come talk until you feel better.”
She told me, “you fixed me, girl.” And I think it was more loneliness than her heart that was scaring her. I hope she knows how much I love visiting with her. I hope she’ll call me the next time she needs someone to fix her.