My Nana is dying. She has advanced emphysema and struggles to breathe every day. She is disappearing pound by pound before my eyes and for the past week I have had the privilege of helping my mother and aunt Dot take care of her at my parents’ home in Massachusetts. In 28 years, I have never heard my Nana complain about anything. And after helping her onto a bedpan, into and out of bed, and occasionally feeding her with a spoon when she is too weak to do it herself – she still has not uttered one. Instead, she continues to thumb her nose at death, make jokes, and root against the Yankees. In short, she has continued being my Nana, she has continued teaching me about the important things in life.
After a 30 minute coughing spell, her breathing steadied, and gasps subsided. She opened her eyes, clasped her Boston Red Sox blanket, and focused on my face. “What’s happening in the game?” she asked.
OLD PEOPLE ARE WISE
Jen: Nana, what is the best and worst thing about being a woman?
Nana: (Thinks.) The sex.
Jen: (Jaw drops.) What about for a man?
Nana: The same.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES
Nana: There’s God, and then there’s Larry (my dad, her son-in-law.)
Mom: Then who?
Nana: Your father.
Dot: Then who?
Nana: The girls. My daughters.
Mom: Dot, we got promoted!
CHOOSE YOUR PARTNER WISELY
Nana: How are the boys?
Me: I don’t have a boy.
Nana: That’s OK. It’s not all a bed of roses you know – unless you find the right one.
Me: Well, what do you have – a bed of roses or weeds?
Nana: I got lucky.
Dot: (eyebrows arch) Really?
Nana: Sometimes your father can be an ass. And a slob. But he’s a good guy, he has a good heart.