David Kopacz, MD
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To Grandmother's House We Go

From the unpublished collection: Allergic to the Earth and Other Tales of Bodily Decay
Originally from the unpublishable: Notes For the Analysis of the Transference

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When we all went to grandma's house
after her Modified Radical Mastectomy with 3 + nodes
I said,

“Hi grandma, looks like I'm a little wet.”

She said,

“I'm fine, I'm fine.”

We had pizza
then I talked with my dad about the world,
he thinks that he can see the work of the devil all around us,
a conscious tearing down of the family and religion
until people can't believe anything or trust anyone
I said something about societal causes, but he replied,

“It makes it more simple if there is someone to blame for everything, rather than the world just plain falling apart.” 

I kept noticing
how many times death and loss
came up while we were talking to grandma - how does one cope with all that reality?
Later, when everyone was asleep, I got up to go to the bathroom
I heard my grandmother snoring in the next room
and I stopped and listened to the breathing
the loud nasal inhalations
and the soft exhalations
I knew that that was the sound of mortality
and I know that I
will remember that
snoring, that fundamental, undeniable fact of my grandmother's life
and when she eventually dies I will remember her snoring,
and perhaps when I am on my deathbed,

I will think about that snoring and my grandmother's acceptance of her mortality and her trust in God.

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