February 14th, 2005

Me pink

A Valentine's Day update

Ah, Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day sucks.

Yes, there's the whole schoolkid issue -- you know, that thing you had to do in school when everyone made a little mailbox for Valentines on their desk and you were always afraid that your mailbox would be empty?

But for me, now, Valentine's Day has become the day we pulled the plug on my Grandmother. No, she didn't die on Valentine's Day -- she died tomorrow, the 15th -- but I know that my entire family was just cynical enough to not care that we would be forever tainting what was already a fucked up holiday to begin with.

So I'll tell the story:

The best part of Valentine's Day last year was going to The Co-op. My aunts had come to town because my Grandmother was in the hospital. On Friday the 13th, of all days, they'd decided that it was time to take my Grandmother off of the ventilator, that there was no chance of a meaningful recovery, and that living on the ventilator was tantamount to torture. My aunts needed some supplies (they were staying in my Grandmother's apartment, which had been vacant for more than a week or two, since my Grandmother had been in the hospital), so I was sent off to do grocery shopping.

I got to The Co-op, displeased, distracted, and just generally feeling the weight of what was going on. Anyhow, I'd hoped I'd run into a friend or two, and I was lucky enough to see Ramon, who was working there at the time. He asked how I was, and I told him the whole awful story. He held me, and wished me well. And it was the best thing that happened to me on that whole godawful day.

Yes, I like my job, but today, more than usual, I will remember what it can sometimes mean to be at The Co-op.
Me pink

Valentine's Day, Part Two

On Valentine's Day 2004, we took my Grandmother off of the ventilator.

After I had gone to The Co-op for my aunts, I came home and waited. Waited for the call that never came. I did nothing all day. I was too scared to go online for fear that the call would come then.

On Valentine's Day, my Grandmother was slowly drowning.

I don't think anyone expected her to survive the day without the ventilator, but she did. I went to bed, and woke up the next morning at around 8:00 am. I instantly called my parents' house. My Father said that my Mother had gone to the hospital. Within ten minutes, my Mother called to tell me that my Grandmother was gone.

Now here's the great part: My mother and my aunts are not the types to go in for any sort of mystical, "woo-woo" stuff*. But at the moment when my Grandmother took her last breath, all three of them saw two bright flashes of light in the room. They didn't say anything to one another at first -- each figuring she'd only imagined it -- but they all came to discover that they had each seen the same thing.

I plan to wear my Grandmother's ring to work tomorrow. Here's hoping I don't get mugged.

*term used with a nod to anarqueso