Today my gramma turns 100. While that’s amazing and rightful deserves a party, my gramma isn’t the woman that I remember. Ever since my mother died a few years ago, she’s gone downhill, like she lost the will to live. And yet her body refuses to let her. She has been in constant pain for years from diabetic neuropathy. Over the last year, a series of blood infections have done a serious number on her brain. My gramma was also a kind person, very involved in local charities and organizations. Now she does none. And she’s no longer kind. My aunt gives her nurses weekly tips because she is such a handful.
We’re having a party, and I am very worried about this. My gramma lives in a Bronx apartment. Small and awkward. And the entire family is coming in. I expect about 30 people and decades of family feuds.
How do you fit 30 people in a tiny apartment? Especially when there are so many combustible elements involved. Especially when half of your family is an inch away from setting those elements ablaze. I know that my aunt had the right idea in throwing a party, but I think that the result is going to be a mess.
I am the family diplomat. This makes me both needed and scorned. I have to put myself between every fight. I have to shut down every fight before it happens. Nobody likes a person that won’t take a side, and is the guy that stamps out every fire when people want it to burn. But that’s what my mother used to do, and that’s my place now.
My gramma is deaf and can barely speak. Her eyesight is terrible. She sleeps almost all day. I hope that she sees and hears no evil. I hope that the rest of us say no evil.
This should be a happy day. Someone is going to ruin it.