I talked to my grandmother last night

I talked to my grandmother last night. It was fantastic. She sounded great; full of life, chatty, her voice refusing to betray the fact that she’s 72.

We talked about the kids’ birthday parties, and about Sierra’s shopping spree. We talked about buying ridiculously expensive land in Wyoming, about how the local celebrities weren’t paying their taxes in Jackson, about how if Grandpa were still around he’d be buying defaulted land like it was going out of style.

We talked about the back roads in Jackson, about my job, Kerrie’s job, the kids and how fast they’re growing. We talked about my father’s health issues. We talked about how my brother is going to be a senior in high school.

We talked about how funny it was that my mom kept trying to call her cell phone instead of her home phone, and how my grandmother doesn’t really use her cell phone anymore.

We talked for a long time.

What we didn’t talk about was her health.

We didn’t talk about how she was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. About how scared that made her, and how she eventually came to terms with it and realized that there’s nowhere to go but forward, that living life being scared of cancer was no life to live at all.

We didn’t talk about how she had her third treatment, and how it was the worst she’s experienced, and how she’s often too tired to do much but sit in her room and watch Court TV, but damn it that hasn’t stopped her from entertaining and inviting people into her home and continuing a long tradition of being the most welcoming person in Teton Valley.

We didn’t talk about that.

Because my grandmother has lived through seven decades of Wyoming winters, through the slow and inevitable passing of her brothers and sisters, through the loss of her own soul mate – my grandfather – to cancer (fucking cancer) and the loss of lucidness that came with it.

She raised two children on her own for years while my grandfather was in the army, and she helped run a small engine shop and a gas station and whatever else my grandfather felt driven to do.

My grandmother is strong. She’s going to be okay.

So we didn’t talk about it. And I think I’m okay with that.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 12th, 2011