Almost exactly seven years ago, I blogged this about my grandmother Anita:
My 80 year old grandmother makes me look like a slacker and a lazy bum. This is a woman who, living down near Grammercy Park, will regularly walk the hundred block round trip to the Guggenheim Museum. This is a woman who, late in life, returned to NYU not only for a college degree, but for a masters as well. This is a woman who, throughout her 60′s and 70′s, worked at a day facility caring for drug addicts and the mentally disturbed. This is a woman who, now, volunteers at the senior center assisting people ten, fifteen years younger than herself, with absolutely no sense that by all rights she should be the one in the chair being spooned jello rather than the other way around.
And, most recently, this is a woman who, having decided she missed out on her Jewish heritage by not having a bat mitzvah at the customary age of twelve, took it upon herself to learn Hebrew, and, some 68 years later, is holding the traditional ceremony this evening. I’ll be in the audience, wishing her well, and hoping that I inherited some of those genes.
Late last week, she was still at it.
On Saturday afternoon, I got a call from my aunt, who was in midtown. By chance, she’d run into my grandmother.
At the time, my grandmother was midway through her afternoon walk. Nearly forty blocks from her apartment where she’d started. Less than five months after she’d been hospitalized and wheelchair-bound for a fractured pelvis.
But, since Sunday morning, my grandmother has been in the hospital again. From the time she started coughing up blood, through a series of ups and downs, it’s been a scary week. Tonight, though she’s sedated and intubated, after a day of great work by the wonderful MICU team at Beth Israel, we’re hoping she’s turning the corner.
So, wherever you are, please send happy, healthy, loving thoughts her way. I don’t use the word hero lightly, but she’s certainly one of mine. And, these days, we need to all the heroes we can get.