Let’s start with a story 81 years in the making.
Thursday evening, after an eventful holiday week spent visiting sisters and daughters, Mary Jo Johnson — a tiny little fire pistol, for whom i can thank for my stature and my temper — suffered a pretty serious heart attack at home in Toledo. Just after midnight, after they had explained that because her kidneys had already failed, her breathing would be the first to go and her heart would soon follow. They showed her family what that would look like on the screen. When the priest had said the final word, they unplugged my grandmother from the ventilators.
Everybody waited. Her pulse dropped to 29 beats per minute, her temperature fell below 90. And then something happened inside that tiny little frame. It wasn’t instant. It took a few hours, but slowly and steadily, she stabilized, opened her eyes, slowed to speech, and her sass soon followed.
For about five hours on Friday, I did as I was told, and mourned my grandmother’s passing. By 10 p.m., she had accidentally flashed me a little leg while I adjusted her hospital gown, saying “not bad for an 81-year-old woman, eh?”
Let’s get this show on the road, she says.
I’m lucky enough to say I haven’t lost anyone close to me since my grandfather died when I was in the first grade. He was her husband and his birthday was Friday.
What else do you need, old man? You know of whom I speak.
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