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Nana

I'm not sure how I've made it my entire life without knowing that my grandmother was an only child. I'm sitting in a pizza place in Vermont with my grandmother, surrounded by my father and aunts, my cousins, and my cousins' children. We have so many people that we don't know how many to tell the hostess, and we can't even count. We just keep flowing in and taking all of the tables.

I had just told her how much I appreciated what she did for us kids. Every summer all of us kids would go up and stay with our grandparents for a week or two. It didn't seem like a huge deal back in the day, but now I understand that it was essentially a full time job. Laundry, food, and corralling us.

"I'm on only child," she says, "but I had lots of cousins I grew up with, so I wanted to make sure that you all had the same thing."

I look around at the visible evidence of her success. We're all really close. Some of us haven't seen each other for years, but it feels like we were just hanging out yesterday. Such a lovely group of people.

Hospital "Welcome Home"

On Wellington Street

We picked up an old candle lit lantern at a barn fair today. It is a dark lime color, and has sides like windows. She loves things like those. I do too. Negotiating the price for the items we picked up she left up to me. She has always been better at that, but she is still having trouble talking. The other people to their credit, didn't stare too much. The stitches are still in, and the doctor said it will still be a little bit before they come out. Margaret was released from the hospital a few days ago. I figured the fresh air would do her good.

The last few days have been the first time in almost a week that I have slept somewhere other than the hospital. It has been nice to be finally out, but things are hardly the same as they were before. Margaret is...sensitive. Not to things I say per-say. She seems to listen too closely. Everything I mention thinking about wanting she makes every attempt to get me. I have stopped mentioning my desires altogether, but that seems to make her anxious. I mentioned I had been wanting some coffee cake, and she went to three stores before she found one she thought was adequate.

I'm not stupid. I know that what the Surgeon told her must have affected her. She feels like she has to take extra care to take care of my needs. Whether this is out of a fear of the Surgeon finishing his work, or whether she has become convinced that she had somehow failed me before I do not know. But I don't like it. I love Margaret for her spirit. Her support has had its limits, but no one should have to be endure everything. I didn't want her to be different.

I guess taking her to the barn sale was an attempt to make things normal between us. I hoped that somehow if we fell back into a similar routine, and started doing the things we loved to do together, that it would snap her out of it. Now I am the one calming her down when she has nightmares. She wakes up screaming at all hours of the night. We are going to ask to doctor to give her something to help her sleep.

I tried to call the kids today. They didn't even pick up. I shouldn't be surprised. They have their own lives. And I can't blame them. Who really wants to admit their father is crazy.

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