Over a month ago, my grandma fell and shattered her femur. After a surgery to place a rod, she’s now in a skilled nursing facility, regularly having physical therapy. Every time I talk to her, she sounds strong. Maybe a little tired, but her voice is strong.
I called Grandma Friday, and she answered after a few rings. A pause, for her to turn down her hearing aid, then, “Hello?”
“Hello!” She always recognizes my voice.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh, I was just getting back to my chair.”
“Have you had physical therapy today?”
She cleared her throat and said, “No. I only do that twice a week.” The spunk that she answered with dissolved.
“Oh really?” Shocked, I didn’t believe this was true.
“Who is this?” she asks this occasionally during my phone calls, just to be sure. But she normally asks a bit sooner in the conversation.
“Well, I thought so,” what Grandma always says during this indentifying interchange.
“Have you had any company today?”
She mumbled names I didn’t understand or know.
Our pitter patter continued for a few minutes. Then we were running out of things to say. She just didn’t sound like herself.
“Sis called last night. She always calls at night.” Her voice was quietly wandering off while I was thinking, who is Sis?
From all accounts, I’ve heard Grandma is really doing well. This voice wasn’t what I expected. Grandma is still sharp. Her voice is loud and clear on the phone. I started to get panicky. I hadn’t talked to her in three weeks. Am I being protected from anything? I really don’t like that idea… But still, who is Sis? Maybe I misunderstood the name.
Suddenly, flooded with relief, it clicked.
“Who is this?” I asked. She mumbled something I couldn't understand.
Finally I said, “Is this Elsa?” A confused silence. “You know, I think I’m talking to someone else and you think you are talking to someone else! It’s been a nice chat. Take care!”
I redialed Grandma’s number that rings to the main desk first. “I just talked to a Grandma for ten minutes, but it wasn’t MY grandma!”
“Oh, did that Eleanor picked up Elsa’s phone? Let me see if Elsa is in her room.” I envisioned her walking down the hall and peeking around a corner. “Elsa isn’t in her room. She’s playing dominoes.”
A little overly excited about a grandma playing dominoes, I answered, “That is wonderful! That is soooo good to hear! Thank you!”
An Eleanor and an Elsa as roommates. Most confusing.