Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Me and My Grammys Trip to Hawaii

A few years ago I took my Grammy to Hawaii. I started thinking about that trip today because I saw a kukui nut lei in Strawbridges. Instantly I heard my Grandmothers voice in my head saying "I like your nuts". For her birthday I took her to a luau. We had a male tour guide. She points at his kukui nut lei and says "I like your nuts". The whole front of the bus was laughing. I'm glad I can now look back at the trip with a smile.

Let me start from the beginning. A few years before the Hawaii trip my Grandmother had a stroke. She now has a shunt in her brain, and oftentimes she reminds me of Sofia from The Golden Girls. She now lies, says off the wall things, and is just not right upstairs. I decided I would take her on the trip because she had never been to Hawaii. Hawaii is my second home, so I thought it would be fun for the two of us to spend quality time together.

It turned out, she was in her wheelchair and I had to push her all over the island. I'm talking miles. So many miles that I started to hemorrhage. I told her I needed a break because I was hemorrhaging, and she told me I was weak. I said "I pushed you two hundred miles in the last ten days, I'm tired!" She didn't give me a break. I felt bad, she's an old lady and this may be the only trip she will ever get to make to Hawaii, so I continued to sacrifice.

I pushed her butt through the International Market Place, from Waikiki to Honolulu, Ross stores, Hilo Hatties, The Dole Cannery, and on and on. She didn't really want to take a cab or ride The Bus. She wanted to see the sights and be outside.

I guess what started bugging me is that we were out searching for a dress for my Great-Grandmother. My Grammy was being so picky about which one she was getting for her. We went from shop to shop to find the perfect mumu. I remember one sales woman said to me "What size is she?" Me being exhausted and out of patience said, "The smallest ya got, she's DEAD!" The sales lady was shocked. My Grandmother is hard of hearing so she didn't hear me when I said that.

Back at the Hotel, I tried to gently explain to my Grammy that I didn't mind taking her shopping, but I didn't want to schlep around town shopping for a dead woman. Somehow my Mother brainwashed my Grandmother that her mother will be coming back to life one of these days. Because of the stroke, my Grandmother believes her. Incidentally my Mother never had a stroke, she's just nuts.

Anyway, I finally got my Grandmother to agree to renting a car. I threw her wheelchair in the back of the car and off we went. I got to rest the whole time I was driving! We hit the North Shore and watched the waves crash on the beach.

Now, I'm so glad I had that trip with Grammy. During the trip, I would lie in bed at night fantasizing about slitting the tires of her wheel chair. To this day she says that trip was "The trip of her life." At least I gave her that.

When we got back home to Pennsylvania I called my Aunt and told her how difficult a time I had with the wheelchair. And I asked her "Why don't you have an electric wheelchair for her?" She told me, "Oh the wheelchair was just for the trip. I thought it would be easier for you. She can walk on her own, she doesn't need a wheelchair."

That Grammy! She even made me push her from the bed to the bathroom! She didn't walk a step for the entire trip. She totally lied and made me push her butt all over the island of Oahu!


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