Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Little Life Lesson

I’m in Miami, a veritable tropical paradise. The sun shines brightly everyday- it’s an absolutely perfect time of year.

And what am I doing? Camping outside the Spanish Consulate’s office…harassing the State Department to send me some unnecessary notarized forms stating that I am not a criminal so that Spain will accept me...and driving myself crazy going back and forth between Best Buy and Apple since I absolutely cannot decide what type of computer I should get for b-school. In a nutshell, preparing for this MBA is like a full time job; I’m worried about actually starting it.

In between my hysterical outbursts in the Consul’s office and laptop decisions, I decided to spend some quality time with my grandmother, Nana, who lives on Miami Beach. Nana parades me around her apartment complex as if I’m a prize to be had and then kicks my ass at scrabble and feeds me preposterous amounts of food. In return, I took her to the gym and put her on the bike. When I looked around to make sure she was still breathing (a common act when I’m around the old bird), I saw her flying on the treadmill- which was quite a shock considering she can’t even cross a room without her walker.

A bit later, I saw flashes of light as I was on an elliptical machine (or “epileptical,” as Nana calls it) and I thought I was going mad. Turns out- Nana was taking photos of me in all my sweaty glory. If I ever doubted that she was my biggest fan, this sneaky little photo shoot confirmed her unconditional love.

At one point during our afternoon together, I grabbed a hold of Nana’s wrist and instead of a normal pulse, I felt something I was not expecting at all- her pacemaker was electronically driving blood through her veins and what I felt was a bizarre continuous buzz- a stream that was anything but natural. I would like to say that it was funny or at least interesting, but it was terrible. Although I’ve always believed my Nana to be somewhat bionic, it scared me to think that it is essentially a machine keeping her alive. (Maybe I shouldn’t have taken her to the gym after all…)

The marvels of modern medicine are extraordinary however, what about quality of life? Spending time with my grandma, time I can never get back, is priceless. Priceless but depressing… and if anything, it serves as a reminder that life is short- its fragile- and maybe I should stop complaining about the damn consulate and appreciate the fact that I’m about to move to Spain for two years.

1 comment:

Lana said...

Nana rocks my world...I miss "the old bird!"