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Visiting Grandmaman
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I'm still not used to being able to keep "in touch" when I'm traveling. I suppose I don't travel enough to really align my mental habits to the reality of the digital connections possible. But, here I am, updating my journal from my uncle Brian's computer in Edmonton, where my father and I are visiting my grandmother -- his mother -- who isn't going to be with us for very much longer.

She has something called body intrusive meiosis, or something like that. I'm not sure what it means, technically, but the pragmatic meaning is that her muscles are wasting away. Three weeks ago, when Doug visited her last, she could walk with a walker, and descend the two steps to the sunken living room with help. As we visit her, now, she can only get around in her wheel chair, often only with help. Moving from the bathroom to her chair in the living room is of a complexity on an order beyond what one might guess.

We talked today; about Grandpa Danny, who passed away in '86, about visiting her in Quebec when my brother and I were very young, about the nature of the afterlife and whether she'll be able to come back down from Up There to visit us. Rather, I should say, that she talked, and I listened. The story about how she and Grandpa Danny met is one I'd never heard before; she was 26, young and beautiful, and courted by him and an other fellow at the time. He was visiting during a sailor's strike in '49, and was brought home by Grandmaman's brother, Gaston, to see his home province of Quebec.

Danny died when I was five, so I knew him only very little. It's interesting. Uncle Brian has a camcorder set up to record conversations for posterity -- my brother was here a few weekends ago, and apparently recorded much. It occurrs to me that perhaps this journal will take on new meaning as I age and have children, and grow old. Perhaps, then, it will be less a personal vanity, that people might be interested in following my story as it happens; and less a communication medium, where I can keep in touch with those I know and love; and become a record for those that come later, family, who will read this with wide eyes and come to similar realisations that I have, now. Life before one's own consciousness never seems very real, but hearing one's elders speak of it brings with it a wonder, that this strange realm of Before-Me actually contains real people and events, ones that will only ever be legend, to us, who didn't yet exist.

I'm getting all solemn. No wonder, having so much to absorb and it all bouncing around in my head. I'm not sad; she misses Danny and is almost, though not quite, ready to go.

I miss my chosen family, and I love them very much. I'm well, and will be back soon. Take care, all y'all.

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I love you, beautiful.

Inclusion Body Myositis?

A disease whereby small "inclusion bodies" form in skeletal muscles, especially the muscle in the legs, quadriceps first, and then later arms, and later still neck, etc. The "inclusion bodies" are small bits of not-muscle that appear in the muscle, replacing muscle tissue that was there, and then disappear, not being replaced by muscle and leaving the muscle smaller and weaker all the time.

Not fatal and doesn't shorten life expectancy, just makes stuff more difficult.

My father has this.

Re: Inclusion Body Myositis?

She's 80 and the degeneration has been extremely rapid in the last month. Perhaps, it's not fatal, but the complications of such an acute case might yet be. I suppose we'll find out.

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