I arrived on a monday.
I wanted to hang out with ma. She wasnt eating, so I had come prepared to encourage her, or to drive a noisy propped plane or a locomotive into her mouth. When I arrived in Minneapolis, my mother met me a the airport.* As we drove to see my grandmother, she told me;
Ethel had a stroke last night, and shes not very responsive.
At her apartment and bedside a hospice musician sitting in one of mas large reclining armchairs before a yamaha keyboard on a collapsable x-shaped stand was playing lilting and innocuous liminal tunes.
My peripatetic scourging stopped in her bedroom. I said goodbye, ended the phone call and witnessed silence. Mas rasping has stopped. Ma. I held her hand. I pressed my head to her chest. I put my cheek to her mouth. I tried to close it.
Later, sitting with my daughter in the balcony dining area overlooking the buffet from which she just selected her meal, I responded to her question of
How did she die? with:
Well, she had lived a long time. She had a stroke – and parts of her body stopped working. She could no longer eat or drink. The few words she spoke after I arrived were in my response to a story I told her about you. I told her about how you were concerned for me because I dont believe in god. She moaned and groaned as she moved her legs under her covers. I said to your great grandmother; you dont like this story do you, ma?
She looked at me for the first time since her stroke and saidNO.
Because she wasnt eating or drinking her body began to shut down. It slowly stopped working and she died.
Lucy released a sigh of resignation and said