While Mom had me inside her tummy, Grandma was already on the verge of losing her speech. Though mother constantly looked for food items to help regain her ever growing raspy voice, it was to a point where she could hardly be understood. Our family suspected it had to do with smoking, but couldn’t confirm with her refusal to see the doctor.
Each day, Mom would head to work via the bus route, picking up groceries on her way back. The marketplace was dirty and full of boorish men who didn’t care about her baby bump, but she endured anyway.
Grandma used to babysit me then. It was long ago that she finally succumbed to surgery to remove the cancer. I vaguely recall being surrounded by the lime green walls of a hospital waiting room as a two year old boy. She developed emphysema and eventually went on oxygen.
But my resilient grandmother died at the end of 2012. She lived to ninety despite having much difficulty breathing. She suffered greatly, yet lived a long and productive life, holding knitting classes that included local celebrities in her younger days. Before she passed away, the amazing girl resided in the palliative care unit for an entire month. She ordered stir-fried crab…
When Grandma couldn’t talk anymore, she spent many days crying in front of the window (my naughty antics didn’t help). It was incredibly heartbreaking. And so my dear, sweet mother gave up her successful teaching career to care for me. She would continue doing so unto this very moment.
How could I have the heart to complain, even with Duchenne muscular dystrophy? I’m simply grateful for learning what sacrifice means.