Tragedy with a dash of humor

This morning on the way to work my mom called and said Ma (she never liked the word grandma so it’s always just been Ma) is pretty lethargic, I think I am going to call the doctor. Ma is now 87 years old and suffers from dementia, other than that she’s pretty healthy but there has been some decline. I hang up, say keep me posted and say a little prayer.

After work I had plans with some friends but I had about an hour before we were meeting up, so I drove right over to Ma’s house to visit with her. I cherish these moments. I love spending time with her and as I drove away I began to think of all the amazing things she has done and the beautiful memories I have of her.

I have many stories to share about my grandmother but this is one of my favorite and it always puts a smile on my face. Before I begin I have to tell you about the type of woman my grandmother was before dementia reared its ugly head. She was one tough Pollack, strong-willed, independent, hard-working, fearless, and well educated. She wasn’t a hugger and rarely said I love you, but you just knew.  She showed her love through her actions.

It was September 11th 2001, I know I don’t have to tell you what happened that day, but even in the midst of that awful tragedy I found a touch of humor. I was watching the television with updates of the events that day. My phone rings, it’s my cousin; I’m assuming she just wants to talk about the tragedy that is unfolding. I answer and all I hear is her laughing and trying to speak, she can’t get a word in without bursting with laughter. Ok I’m feeling a little uncomfortable I mean has she not seen the news. Finally she composes herself and says you have to listen to this message that Ma left on the answering machine (she still has the tape today). She rewinds it and hits play….

Here is the message Ma left in her most serious no nonsense tone:

Karen are you home, where are you, their attacking the US, take the twins and go in the basement, don’t leave the house it’s not safe, tell Steve to get home now, be careful, DON’T LEAVE THE HOUSE…..Ok sounds like Ma, nothing funny yet then………..Don’t call me back, Bernadine and I are going to Indiana to get gas, its forty cents cheaper.

I told you she was tough, even the terrorists couldn’t stop her from getting cheaper gas.

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