What a rollercoaster of a weekend. Got a call on Friday around three o’clock that Banana Grandma was in ICU with congestive heart failure and that I should head to Des Moines as soon as I could, that she had been given hours. Then I got a call two-hours later saying that she had made a miracle recovery and was out of ICU.

Since I had a show closing that weekend, I decided to stay home to see the final show and work strike on Sunday.

My wife was taking the kids to Des Moines anyway. For weeks they had been planning on seeing the grandmothers and going to an orchard. My wife likes to get out of town on show weekends anyway, so it worked out well. She decided to stop by and see Banana Grandma, too.

My father called me during the show Saturday night to tell me that things seemed dire again, so I called my wife. They had moved my grandmother to a hospice. My wife suggested that if I wanted to speak to my grandmother I should probably be there.

I couldn’t sleep well that night. I had thought a couple times of just dressing and driving, and I hate driving at night…and it was raining.

When I got there Sunday morning I thought she was dead. She was sitting in a chair with an oxygen mask askew. I couldn’t see her breathing. She was alone.

I went over and kissed her. She looked up at me and smiled. It was one of those catch twenty-two relief/sorrow moments. Her breathing was so shallow. We sat and talked for a few moments before she fell back asleep.

I sat with her for a couple of hours until my parents came. They didn’t know I was coming. They left around three.

I hung out with her until seven that night. I was positive that she would go at any moment. We had finally moved her to bed before my parents left. She had slept almost the whole time.

She woke up once and said, “I hope I done the right thing?”

I said, “Yup. You’ve done the right things.”

She reached out her hand and I took it. She fell asleep again.

She awoke one more time and said, “Is today Sunday?”

I said, “Yes.”

She fell asleep again.

She began talking. Most of it I couldn’t understand. Her jaw was working almost continually.

She raised her other hand in her “praise-Jesus” a couple of times, still asleep. Finally, still asleep, she said, “I just don’t want to get all bloody.”

That one creeped me out a bit. It was clear as could be.

At seven o’clock I kissed her and left to go home.

My car wouldn’t start.