For her 80th birthday, we decided to give Grandma Rena an oxygen tank.
Isn’t there something else, like a porch swing or the Abbot & Costello library on VHS?
For her 80th birthday, we decided to give Grandma Rena an oxygen tank. Of all the aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins and parents involved, I was the only one who thought that might not be the best idea. Isn’t there something else, I’d wanted to say, like a porch swing or the Abbot & Costello library on VHS? Granted, the woman’s lungs were spent and her healthcare plan the lowest-frills around, but the thought of sharing such close space with the thing made my skin crawl. A reminder of mortality, maybe, of what I might expect somewhere down the road? I couldn’t put my finger on it. But as usual, with everyone in agreement, dissent seemed pointless.
And so we convened in the pastel-colored private room of the Kokopelli Restaurant at the Four Winds Country Club in southern Arizona, to celebrate her milestone over lunch. The tank, wrapped in shiny paper with a great big bow slapped onto the Do Not Use Around Op…