This is my Nana. Just like the way she lived her life, the events surrounding her dying, death and mourning were filled with humor. This is the first installment, enjoy!
Part One: DYING July 11, 2000
In the summer of 2000, my Nana had enough. Although she had never smoked a day in her life, or let anyone smoke around her for that matter, she had End Stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She had been on supplemental oxygen for several years and the stress of being poorly oxygenated had worn her heart out. She was living with my mother and Kaiser had initiated Hospice care for her. She was fine with it, she was ready to go.
One day, I went over to help my mom bathe her. We put a chair in the bathtub, got Nana in and cleaned her up. I washed her hair and when she got out of the tub, I rubbed her back with her favorite lotion. Into a clean nightgown and Nana was ready for a nap. While she napped, I visited with my mom and told her about the date I had been on the night before.
A little while later, Nana woke up. She asked me to help her with her breathing treatment. I set up her nebulizer and sat her on the end of the bed. While she breathed-in the medicine that would make it easier for her to breathe, I gave her a pedicure. After that, I sat behind her on the bed with my legs on either side of her and gently pounded on her back to work up any gunk that was in her lungs.
While I was doing this, Nana was checking out my feet. She finally asked me, "Michele, do your feet hurt?" I said, "No, why?" She replied, "Well I am looking at your toes and they are so red. It looks like they are sore." I then said, "Nana, I am a redhead and it is over 100 degrees outside. My skin turns red when I am hot." A 78-year-old woman should never utter what she said next; " I bet your pussy is really red too!" I nearly died. I screamed "Nana!" so loud, my mom thought she was dying and ran into the room. She found Nana and I on the bed in tears. I was crying, Nana was coughing and laughing. Neither of us could talk. My mom yells, "What is the matter?" In between laughs I tell her, "Nana, ha, said, ha, that, ha ha, my, ha, my p-p-p-p-PUSSY, is, is is, red!"
My mom had no idea what I was talking about and still didn't understand what was going on. By this time I am on the floor crying with laugher, I couldn't stop. My mom is freaking out, Nana is still laughing and coughing, the dogs have come in the room and are running around trying to figure out what is going on, it was a circus. Finally, Nana calmed down and said to my mom "Joan, you daughter is a real fire crotch!" then Nana and I started to howl with laughter. My mom just turned around and left room muttering, "You two are crazy!" That was the last time I saw my Nana alive.