Mom is 95, and like a classic, old automobile, she needs a little repair occasionally. What else would you expect? This time, she experienced atrial fibrillation, or A-fib. That means her heart was beating out of rhythm, that there was a problem with the speed and pattern of her heartbeat. A-fib can be dangerous, because it can create clots. A clot that travels to the brain can cause a stroke.
The doctors at the hospital treated her condition, and she is better. She's a little weak,
though, and the staff at the rehabilitation facility will help her regain her strength. She still has miles left on her motor.
Myrtle Griggs was born in February of 1918, when America was engaged in World War I in Europe. That was a long, long time ago. She has come a very long way and has seen a lot of history in her journey through the 20th century and well into the 21st. And she's still rolling along.
Sometimes, it might appear she's running out of gas, but she gets refueled and tuned up and keeps on going. I often wonder how she does it. I feel a few creaks and cracks in my own frame, and my baby-boomer motor doesn't rev as well as it used to. So, I'm impressed with my mother's longevity.
And I've always appreciated my mother's unwavering support of me. Through all the years of my youth, my mom put up with my countless mistakes and blunders. Along the way, she always tried to make me see the light, impart unto me some of the wisdom of her years, and bail me out of jams if need be. I arrived upon this earthly plain because of her, and I still stand here today thanks to her.
Mom used to tell me that life is short, that I needed to make the best of it, the most of it. She was trying to save me from the troubles ahead and guide me onto a better path. But I was so smart, I thought, so Mom could have saved her breath, I thought. Of course, I was wrong and should have listened to me mum.
With my know-everything attitude, I made it to college, where I spent more time goofing off than I did breaking books. That college sent me on my way after a year, and I enrolled in another school, where I matched my first year's poor performance. After a semester there, I dumped my scholastic career. I'm sure I disappointed my mother, who continued to stand behind me anyway.
Then I joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Corps snapped me out of my stupidity and gave me some direction and purpose and a little bit of gung-ho. Mom probably called the Marine Corps commandant and ordered him to square away that Griggs kid.
Of course, I could still manage to screw up occasionally, even in the Corps. Take the time in Paris, where one evening I enjoyed a bit too much alcoholic cheer and used my telephone to call a lot of people back home in the United States. I even called a wrong number and chatted with that fellow for quite some time. Well, the phone bill came to about $450. That was about $400 more than I had. I asked my mom to withdraw the money from my bank account back home – this was way before electronic banking – and to please send it to me in Paris. She sent me the money, but it was her own money, which she insisted I keep, with no requirement to pay her back. She was still standing behind me.
I've always had a special connection with my mother, and the eeriest example happened in my sleep. I said it was eerie, didn't I? I was working at Auto Trader magazines at the time, always got home from work in the middle of the night, and would sleep a little late in the morning. One morning, in my dream state, I saw my mother falling, and she yelled out my name. Her shout woke me up instantly. After I got up, I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong, so I called my family back in Illinois and was told that my mother had fallen earlier that morning and had broken her wrist. Yikes! Talk about being connected.
Two of my nieces, Jackie and Jennifer, visited their grandmother this past Sunday at the hospital. Mom told them she was concerned about her hair being a mess. The nurse and Jackie and Jennifer all said her hair looked fine. The nurse said Mom was a classy lady and that her hair was beautiful. Nevertheless, Jackie combed her grandma's hair, and Mom's hair was even more beautiful than before.
I'll be heading to the nursing and rehab facility this afternoon. There's one classy lady there I need to visit and support. After all, she's always been around to support me.