It was a week of extremes: kids dripping green snot, Audrey up 5-6 times per night, sitter on reduced schedule, Nana busy with bridge and whatnot, umpteen hours of yoga training for me, and, oh, yes, Valentine's Day (a holiday that is rotten to the core and only fun for little kids). Plus, Jonah was anticipating our trip to CA by asking every few seconds, "How many days now until we go on the airplane?"
But the really crazy thing was that my grandmother entered the hospital. She was doing so poorly that my mother was inspired to call me and tell me if I wanted to see Grandma again, now was the time.
After hanging up the phone, I walked up two flights of stairs to the attic, where Jonah and Matt sat playing with a train set.
"I have to go to Centralia tomorrow," I said. "My grandma is not well. My mom said I better go."
I wanted to say, "She's dying," but since Jonah was present, I refrained. Instead, I tried to make the gravity of the situation clear in my hushed and steady delivery.
"Oh, no, is she dying?" he asked.
"Great Grandma Lorraine is dying?" asked Jonah.
My eyes popped out of my head as I gave Matt a look that spoke volumes about his honed skills of subtlety and my opinion about that.
Matt cringed and said, "Jesus...I'm sorry."
"She's pretty sick," I said, kneeling down in front of Jonah.
"Is she sick from smoking?"
Matt and I exchanged incredulous glances. "Yes," I admitted. I didn't know for sure if that was true, but one can surmise that fluid in the lungs and a failing heart weren't brought on by a lifetime of healthy living. It's no wonder Jonah picked up on this, since my mom bitches constantly about my grandma's smoking and I bitch constantly about her smoking. He's asked a lot of questions about it, such as the great and obvious question of all time: "Why do they do it if it's going to make them sick?"
I still haven't figured out a way to explain in clear terms that we grownups are bonkers.