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?
THE DANGER YOU KNOW BY GEOFF KIRSCH 34TH PARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 03
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…