Got down to the hospital to see Grandma. I told her how I felt about her and grandpa and her brother Carl who used to live upstairs from me and died early in the morning, getting ready to go work in the temple. I told her how Michael and I talked about how someday we will be the older generation responsible for keeping things together and it's hard to imagine ourselves being up to the task. And she reminded me that you don't become the kind of person overnight: it takes time. And then she told me a story she's told me many times before, about how she, as a younger woman, spent some time caring for an elderly relative of hers who was quite cranky and bitter. The experience made her vow to herself that she wouldn't be a cranky old woman: which made her realize that she'd better stop being a cranky young woman first.
I laughed. We talked and talked, told each other new stories which led us back into telling stories
we've already told each other dozens, maybe hundreds of times--and I love the rhythm of it.
Next Friday, she told one nurse, she will have twenty-nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
When another nurse asked where she was from, she said "Would you like the short version or the long one?"
Maybe that's one thing we can keep from generation to generation.
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