Grandma Minnie is lying on the blanket next to me doing the Hula. :-)
Prior to my Grandmother's death in 1976, she had been suffering with dementia and multiple cancers. All my life I had been her caretaker, and she was also mine. This was a very tough survivor of unspeakable challenges, having worked as a child slave laborer in the NYC sweat shops. For the last few decades of her long life (87+ years) she was deaf.
We were summoned to the nursing home in Brighton Beach Brooklyn, NY b/c once again she had a cancer. This time it was in the colon they said. My Uncle Hy, the eldest surviving male in our family, my mother and aunt who were his two sisters, came with me to the home for a consult with the doctors.
Please remember that my grandmother was a mental vegetable and deaf when reading the rest of this tome?
The doctors were speaking in front of my grandmother but to us all. The surgeon said "He wanted to perform a colostomy." My grandmother came out of her decades long dementia and deafness and screamed,
"NO, DON'T CUT ME!"
I AGREED THAT THIS WAS A TERRIBLE THING TO DO TO HER AT SO OLD AN AGE AND WITH DEMENTIA, and pleaded with my Uncle not to give permission..
Uncle Hy being the eldest gave consent anyway, as it was his family decision to make. My mother and aunt also did not want their mother operated on. After surgery the next day, a final earthly glimpse of my grandmother was watching her heave in her death throws. This vision has been a long reminder that doctors, science, and naive relatives are very fallible.
For whatever the reason, the past few days I feel Uncle Hy and my grandmother hovering over me... and it is for this very reason I am writing the blog dedicated to her memory. I love you Grandma Minnie Weinstein. You always called me "Mammalah!"