My grandmother is dying, my father's mother, 87 years old. My dad told me Friday night. Health problems over several years, slow decline, nothing unusual for a person her age. She was taken off of dialysis on Friday. Seven days, maybe less, maybe more.
I ordered myself to call her. You're her only grandson, she faithfully sent you a birthday card with a fifty dollar bill even until you were a man of twenty five? Or are you a man even yet Mr. Beran?
What are you afraid of? Arn't you so ironic? Don't you mock other people's fear of death? Don't you laugh at other people's attempts to dignify their mortality? Religion, marriage, poems on the tombstone?
I called yesterday. She was asleep, I got my aunt instead. She told me that she (my aunt) was fine. She asked me about my life. Of course she did, I'm not 87. That's worth quite a hell of a lot isn't it? Almost enough to make me stop prematurely age myself, still I drink wine from the bottle as I write this.
I'll try to get a hold of my grandmother again tommarow, but she's sleeping twenty hours a day, pills for both the pain and the dread. I have to try, but I'm not likely to speak to her again. And if I do, than what? Should I tell her I'm praying for her? Would lying be worse than not talking to her at all?
Goodbye, would that be appropriate? And what if that isn't the end of the conversation? What if she asks me about my future? My future.