Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

Cardboard Cutout Grandma

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 in Family and Friends, Featured |

Cardboard Cutout Grandma

My kids are fed up. They’re sick of both of their grandmas being sick. Their sick of us being sick of it. They’re sick of changes in schedule, flip-flopping of plans, and modifying just about everything. They don’t like it. They hate it. And they’ve decided to replace their grandmothers with a lifesize cardboard cutout.

This late-night announcement came just hours after Grandma J’s lung cancer surgery and minutes after Grandma’s decision to delay her Alaskan cruise scheduled for today. This of course means that the kids couldn’t go on the giant cruise ship for a tour — this grandma sick business is really cutting into their summer fun.

Our moms are both sick. @La_Gringa’s mom had a cancerous tumor cut from her right lung yesterday — a horrifying orderal that’s gone on for over a year. Despite crap-house stats for lung cancer, Grandma J. looks to beat the odds with a very early stage tumor and extremely good overall health. But yesterday, during the five-hour surgical procedure, it sure didn’t feel like the good news that it is. It felt like hell for the entire family. And although kids are clueless sometimes, it was hard to miss the frightening undertone from the past several months. They sense that something is out of kilter, even if they can’t put their finger on it.

My mom is doing better, but not better enough to be better enough to travel. Complications from CIDP, Lupus, Hepatitis and skin cancer are messing with her vital organs and she can’t risk being away from medical care if things dip, even slightly. Just 16 hours before departing for a week-long cruise, the doctor pulled the plug. Mother fricker. The blows just keep coming.

The kids don’t care about the wheelchair or Grandma’s ballooned-up face. Really they don’t. But it does affect them, “I am sick of my grandma being sick,” Thing 2 said while waiting for her pasta to arrive yesterday. “I’m hungry and dont’ want to talk about this,” replied Thing 1. Ah, the female-male dynamic of managing crisis. They went on later to tell me they wish they could make a life-size cardboard cutout of their grandmas and carry them around doing all the normal stuff they are used to doing. Convinced that they could still visit the cruise ship, they schemed how to make a cardboard replacement for grandma. “What’s the difference? We can put the fake grandma in a wheelchair and just roll her up the plank to the ship.” The planning went on and on until I chimed in:

You can make a fake grandma and take her anywhere you want,  but your real grandma will still be here waiting to do it herself.