Monday, July 14, 2014

Fall of Grandma III : Buddha Business

First, let me just say how glad I am that my grandmother made it through her surgery successfully. Not that it was a particularly problematic procedure nor was it a perilous life-threatening emergency but still at her advanced years, one never knows.

Paul : The surgery doesn't take that long, maybe about an hour? 
Grandma : That's quite fast!
Paul : But you're old... and there is a chance you might just die on table. 
Grandma : Well then it's a final goodbye to you then. See you on the other side if it exists. 
Paul : I'm not done talking yet!

Yes, I don't mince words.

Not that it managed to disturb her calm composure. Since I delivered this alarming lecture on the treacherous dangers of decrepitude a few years back when she underwent her cataract surgery, obviously she didn't read very much into my ominous tone. I guess when you've lived till that ripe old age, heading into that final sleep isn't as much of a terror but a kind of sweet relief.

A serene sense of acceptance apparently not shared by my overwrought relatives who treated the coming surgery as if it was the dreaded end. Seriously just short of the kinda hair-tearing, chest-beating wailing attributed to professional Italian mourners.

Which seriously troubled my grandmother. Though quite the staunch traditional conservative, she surprisingly enough doesn't relate much to organized religion. In fact, I have the distinct impression that my eccentric grandmother just might be a true agnostic - hence her apparent fearlessness at greeting death.

Paul : Okay, who ordered the chanting nuns?
Mike : Wasn't that you?
Paul : If it was up to me, we'd have sexy Mormons every night.  

Unlike her eldest daughter - my aunt - who recently must have received a religious epiphany of some sort for there could be no other logical explanation for her sudden spiritual zeal! So much so that I half expect her to enlist in some obscure Buddhist convent - if she hasn't already done so. Unsurprisingly her regular messages on the family newsletter seems to be entirely composed of complex Buddhist mantras, floating lotus flowers or serene images of Buddha.

On receiving word of my grandmother's impending surgery, she immediately fell into a mystical Buddhist trance and started muttering sacred sutras. Caught up in her burning religious fervour, she immediately adjured my disbelieving grandmother to join in. Fortuitously she had already printed out a Buddhist text for her to read out and recite. Much to my grandmother's glaring consternation.

Obliging as ever though, my grandmother read it. And instantly sent me, ever the skeptic, a recording as proof.

Well, my grandmother did make it through so perhaps Buddha did watch over her after all.


sharman said...

So glad to hear gramdma is doing well! Its always a worry when the elderly have to go for any hospital visit. My grandfather isn't young anymore and i never know how to prepare for these visits, much less an op!

savante said...

Agreed! They are definitely getting more frail. Though I do think my relatives are going overboard with their solicitousness!