Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Your grandmother's in the hospital....

....but she's okay."

Well...good morning. Woke up to my mother phoning telling me my grandmother's in the hospital. The good news is that it's probably nothing. Her leg felt numb and she can't walk on it, but they put her on blood thinners and she should be out today. I, however, snapped to attention and couldn't get back to sleep.

We've been lucky with that lil' ol' Polish tank. She's a toughie. One of the more interesting characters in my life, and I've got the pleasure to be related to her. Remindeds me of Scarlett O'Hara...started off a princess, lost it all during the war and did everything she could so that she would regain her 'regal' status. According to her, Poland pre-1939 had cotton candy trees and chocolate rivers. She lived in a city, Przemysl, which at that time was located more centrally in Poland. So, by her tell, the Germans and the Russians often took turns occupying. My grandfather was gone with the Polish army and she was left to care for my two year old uncle her mother, and mother-in-law. She was about 22.

She's given me so many stories over the years. How russian officers often lived in her house, how she worked for the germans in labour camps, how people went shopping and then were unable to get back because one of the two warring sides will have advanced enough to cut them off from their homes. Closer to the end of the war, she and her son were herded out of work and onto a train. A day or two later, they were in Germany and she never saw Poland or her family again. She lived in a bombed house, helped in a soup kitchen, worked for a barroness, etc...and then, through letters written to family, found her husband after 8 years. He took her to Scotland and that's where my mother and the rest of her siblings were born.

Yet...this woman calls my mother to work the VCR. She never learned how to lock a door until my grandfather died (I once told her that might have helped in preventing the Russians storming into her house...hehe). She consistantly opens the milk carton on the wrong side. And she can be ~mean~. She rules as "The Matriarch" of our family and is extremely comfortable with that title. "I'm the grandma", she tells you if you protest ~anything~.

Anyway...she's 88 and as healthy as one could hope for...knock wood. I'm pretty sure this leg thing will pass and she'll be back chastizing me and my cousins for not being married yet in no time. I love that old battleaxe.

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