Ready to Rumble



I heard Grandma’s rants coming from the dining room. I stepped out of my shoes because if there was going to be a rumble, I was going to have sure footing. I’d seen Grandma out of her mind – just two days ago – and I knew she was getting worse. Two days ago was the first time she failed to recognize me and saw only a threat. I was watching her while Granddad was out for a much needed break Saturday when Grandma was coming up the steps, I was standing at the top and through the darkness and through my – uh – extended hair – she didn’t recognize me. Afraid, she told me that she’d called the police. I assured her it was me, “your Ray-Ray.” And when I got back in the light she settled down. Until two days ago I was the one she called out for. I had a calming effect on her just being present. But something had gotten worse, so I stepped out of my shoes in case I had to wrestle with “the worst.” Two days ago when Granddad had come home and I was taking them to the Farmer’s Market, I realized that Granddad’s stern voice and pushing was more effective than my patience and gentleness in certain moments. When Grandma was tired and irritable and her ire was up, Granddad knew how to manage the ire. Ire, fierce meanness was what I heard in Grandma’s tone as I entered the house. She was preaching what she knew to be the word of God, but meanness filled the air. The nurse sat in a chair off to the side helpless and apparently in shock.


“God is coming back! Jesus! I say unto you go and oh my God….”


Grandma yelled, pacing the floor, hands waving wildly. Granddad looked on from the doorway to the kitchen, straining to hold back his tears. Barefoot and ready for battle, I stood in front of Grandma and yelled at her pitch, “Hallelujah! Yes! Glor-Ray!”


She paced the floor and preached. I leaned over and asked the nurse how long she’d been at it. Since about five minutes before I came in. I turned and studied Grandma a few more seconds and realized we’d have to wait this one out, let her wind herself out. The nurse left, since she had been scheduled to leave an hour ago. Grandma raged on. If she attacked Granddad again, I was prepared to restrain her. I grabbed my cellie to capture a little of this unbelievable moment on video. In about fifteen more minutes she was all spun out. She announced that she was going upstairs and I followed her.


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