Last time I was on a plane it was coming back from Florida, after
holding my grandmother's hand in the hospital. After her heart attack.
I hadn't seen her in years. I held her hand and watched the
multicolored blips in the monitor. She looked like a plant somebody
forgot to water.
That was Gert, my mom's mom. Gertrude. The one who handed her only
daughter all her emotional dysfunction on a silver platter. The one
who told my dad "all my eggs are in one basket" the day they got
married. The one who watched two husbands die of cancer.
I called her nanny when I was a kid, until she yelled at me and told
me to call her grandma like a normal person. Since then, I called her
The last time I was on a plane I was leaving Florida. I said "goodbye"
and "see you soon" even though I knew I'd never see her alive again.
She knew, too.
The last time I was on a plane my grandmother was flat-lining in a
hospital in Florida. As I watched the clouds go by. As my mom drove
from the airport to the hospital. Nanny died.