my balanced life (or my frozen lungs)


Grandma and Grandpa Banis on their Hawaiian vacation

Grandma and Grandpa in Hawaii

My chest feels like someone has been beating on it with a ball peen hammer.  Like someone is trying to get in.  Or get out.

Bang.  Bang.  Bang. 

 

Each deep breath is punctuated by face-reddening, uncontrollable coughing.

Hack. Hack. Hack.

 

I am sick.

Bronchitis, I think.  The good doctor who loaded me up with steroids, cough syrup with codeine and antibiotics didn’t say, specifically.  But he talked about reducing swelling in my lungs.  Sounds like bronchitis to me.

Ancient Chinese Medicine teaches that each major organ in your body relates to an emotion.  The lungs represent grief.

As I lay in bed, feeling the effects of the ever-present tapping on my breastplate, I wonder which grief has frozen my lungs.

The death of a marriage.

The disappointment of a lying boyfriend.

The literal death of my grandmother.  My last living grandparent.

Grandma Banis stood next to me that summer day I pulled in more than my share of fish.  She loved telling the story over the years, imitating my girlish delight with each caught-fish. Wheeee!”

She taught me to sew, a meticulous taskmaster who still managed to make it fun.  I remember scouring through patterns and fabrics with her for hours.  Picking blouse and skirt patterns that would be easy enough.  Choosing different fabrics so that once I had a pattern set to my measurements, I could make it over and over.

I remember my first lesson on zippers.  I think I ripped it out six times, because as Grandma said, “We don’t do no half-ass work around here, Gina.”

After that first lesson, I never ripped out another zipper.  I wish all of my life-lessons were as effective as her lesson on zippers.

Grandma’s passing wasn’t a surprise.  Over three years in a nursing home left her a shell of her former sassy self.  I don’t like to remember her like that, and hate some of the pictures posted of her with her face sunken because the nursing home lost her teeth.  I prefer remembering her with her hair just so, make-up carefully applied, smart pantsuits (that she most likely whipped up on her trusty sewing machine.)

A widow-woman for the last ten years or so, as far as I know she never dated or even entertained the notion of being involved with another man.  I think she was content to wait to reunite with Grandpa Banis.

And now she has.

Good-bye, Grandma.

4 thoughts on “my balanced life (or my frozen lungs)

  1. i miss her soooo much. it was hard going from seeing her everyday, to once every few months or so. she taught us all so many things and shared alot of her stories and secrets with me of her younger days to the present. i would take her out on my days off the walk the mall or to go to lunch. she loved the asia kitchen. she would order the same thing every time. spring rolls and combination plate of pad thai and sesame chicken. she was so strong and always took care of all of her elders. i still dont know how she moved all that heavy furniature to vaccume underneath at a petite 4’11” her strength inspired me. and no, she never thought of any other man but grandpa and couldnt wait for the day when they would be joined again. i know they are together, smiling, embracing, dancing. i will miss her very much, but i know she is smiling from ear to ear with the love of her life. i am lucky to have been able to spend so much time with her. she lives in me, forever. love you. hope you feel better!)

  2. Pingback: my balanced life (or my HCG diet experiment) | my balanced life

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