|Grandma and Grandpa G, ca. 1954.|
The Deburring...posted 07/11/08
Tough day, and it's barely 1:30 PM. I spent three hours this morning "under the knife" at the nearby medical center, getting some of the results of my youthful, tanned beach-god days removed. Whilst awake. But under appropriate locals.
As usual in these things, I had plenty of time to sit around waiting, and thus plenty of time to contemplate my navel. Intellectually, I wasn't worried. I told a co-worker the other day that I thought this would be much less unpleasant that a root canal. And I was right. But emotionally, I knew I was scared. And that somehow brought me to what must be my definitive "happy place", one that I hadn't remembered or connected with emotionally in a long, long time.
After the accident, mom took me with her to Illinois so she could heal up at her mom and dad's place. I don't know the exact events that took place after that, but my earliest memories are of grandpa and grandma G. living with us in L.A. They apparently moved to California to stay with us and help care for me. I don't know if grandma G's breast cancer was a factor in that move, but I do remember knowing that she had it. And I remember the huge machine that was used for her radiation therapy, and visiting her in the hospital.
What I remembered today was what I did and how I felt when I was little-little. Grandma G spent most of her time in bed, and I would crawl in with her and we would talk. Looking back, that was the happiest, safest place I've ever been in my entire life. It puts the the crazy babysitter and the psychotic nuns into a sharp relief, which I'm willing to bet put the cap on my preference for going it alone.
I guess that warmth and safety is the experience I've been looking to re-create all these years.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Back Under the KnifeI spent about an hour or so under the knife, again. New surgeon, new hospital (more, later).
Once again, in pre-op, I found myself thinking of my time with Gramma G. I think what makes that time so special to me is that it was unconditional. I suppose she knew, or at least suspected, that she was dying during my time with her. If so, she never seemed to show me that she was afraid. It seemed to me that she had nothing else to do when she shared her time with me. I'm sure that her dying was a great strain to my mom and Grampa G, so they were, of course, distracted.
After she passed on, my life changed. Grampa G would take off for a few months to spend time with his other children in Arizona and Illinois. When he was gone, I would stay overnight at my best friend's house, and during the summers,stay during the day as well. This was because my mom worked the night shift at the hospital.
Anyway, I know where my "happy place" is. Thanks, Gramma.