Euphemism of The Gods

Mom called today. According to her doctors, my 92-year-old grandmother is "going fast." 

Until her late sixties, the hard-working,  cantankerous, fiercely independent but always loving little old lady who helped raise me was known for doing exactly that.

She mowed her own lawn. Fast.

She cleaned her own rain gutters. Fast.

She cooked dinner on family holidays. Fast.

She maintained her spotless suburban cottage. Fast.

She drove her '64 Impala SS—the last car my grandfather owned before he died—Fast.

It has taken 25 years and two hip replacements, a shattered femur, a fractured humerus, a crushed patella, one broken collar bone, myriad gastronomical maladies, cataracts, false teeth lingering deafness and crippling arthritis to slow her down.

Watching someone who molded you from birth wither slowly to her own painful demise is the toughest thing I've ever endured. I can't even imagine what it has felt like for her. 

An old friend of mine lost his mother before her time. On the eve of her passing, mother and son shared milk and cookies while watching TV in the home where she raised him. Before he turned in, my friend kissed his mother good night. She wished him sweet dreams and he turned out the light.

When he woke up the next morning, his mother was sitting on the couch as he had left her, a glass of milk in her hand and the cookie jar on the couch beside her.

I hate myself every time I think about it, but that's the speedy getaway I've wished for Grandma for the last 15 years.

If I know my grandma, she'll cash in her chips when I'm on a 10-day trip to Taiwan.

Juanita Floyd did things fast, but she rarely did them easy.


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