Thursday, August 26, 2010


Nothing ever goes quite as planned.

The plan: Fly to Atlanta tomorrow. Pick up my rental car and check in at the hotel. Go to the rehearsal dinner. Saturday's schedule has a family breakfast in the late morning, and my cousin's wedding in the evening. Sunday there's a family brunch. During the downtime between events, try to relax a little, maybe do a little writing.

But yesterday my grandmother had a "medium-grade" heart attack. (Whatever "medium-grade" means.) She's pushing ninety, and her health has been frail for a couple of years now. (Since about the time Alex was born, it's been clear to me that her continuing to live is largely an act of will on her part. As soon as she decides she's done... she will be.) She was actually taking a turn for the better -- about a month or so ago, she started eating more and gaining weight and had even begun some physical therapy. Thank goodness, because without that she might not have survived this attack. But this surely will have done some damage -- exactly how much is yet to be determined.

I don't know what the state of her health is right now. "Resting peacefully and in no pain" is certainly better than the alternative, but doesn't tell me when or even whether the doctor expects her to leave the hospital. (And I have to take the "resting peacefully" part with a grain of salt. She doesn't know why she's in the hospital -- she's been told, but because of her dementia, can't remember it -- and she doesn't even necessarily understand that she's in a hospital at all. I'm sure she's demanding to go home every five minutes.) Even if she bounces back quickly (which seems unlikely), she's certainly not going to be able to go to the wedding. What will that do to my aunt and uncle's plans for the weekend? I have no idea.

I feel bad for my cousin and his fiancée, who have to be wondering if this is going to mar their wedding.

I'm pretty sure it means I'll be spending more, rather than less, time with the family. Most likely at the hospital, since that's where she'll be.

It also means that I might as well throw half the plans away. The wedding will still be taking place, I have no doubt, but everything else just got a lot shakier. Guess I'll be winging it this weekend, and bracing for the worst.

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