At the house, I sat in my grandmother Nan's recliner chair because she's in the hospital. My grandfather Pop and I watched Martin Scorsese's The Departed on a cable TV channel. It's a violent film, filled with betrayal and deception.
On a commercial break, Pop said: "Well, it looks like it'll be just you and me eating dinner here."
"Yeah, just for a little while," I responded.
My grandmother is suffering from a variety of ailments. For decades, she has been plagued by severe rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that has contorted her limbs and rendered her unable to walk without crutches, and only for short distances when she does walk. If we go to a restaurant, we place her in a wheelchair. Recently, her kidneys are diminishing and her lungs are being filled with fluid.
When I visited her in Tampa General yesterday, she desperately wanted to get out, but the nurses gave her a Xanax, which subdued her anxiety considerably. Despite the discomfort, she managed to crack some jokes about the other bedridden patient in the room. The poor patient was under spells of paranoia and delusion—believing that there was a shooter in a tower outside of the hospital, and also that Pop was beating Nan. So Nan told me: "Please tell Pop to stop beating me." I laughed at the dark humor. I was glad she was coping by making fun of the absurdity.