He -- like me -- is a bit skeptical of the SARS diagnosis that mom quoted. (As much as I love my aunt and respect her, she's a bit prone to melodrama. As, really, is grandma at times. My own occasional tendancy towards melodrama might be one of the less desireable traits I inherit from mom's side of the family.) After all, grandmother has had asthma all her life -- she's where I get that from, too -- and she's in her 80's. It need not necessarily be SARS to be life-threatening, and dad and I figure it's just as easily pneumonia or even an upper respiratory infection. If it were SARS, we figure, it would've made the news.
At any rate, Aunt Sally doesn't want visitors other than mom because she's too harried, and grandmother can't have visitors anyway. Dad's considerably calmer than mom, which helped me calm down a bit, but even he admits the prognosis is not so good. All I can do right now is wait. I can't really call grandma like I normally try to, so I'm going to write a letter for mom to take. She flies back tomorrow morning, really, really early, and they say grandma is stable enough that she can read. She just can't do really anything else.
I'm far too distracted to focus on code, and my co-workers said not to stress it and take a mental health day if needed...but other than writing the letter I have nothing else to do. Maybe offering my prayers for her recovery, or -- as I have to accept the possibility that this is the end -- her painless passing if it is her time to join grandfather.
I have no idea how to take my mind off of this when I finish the letter. I cried earlier, when mom first called, to the point that my eyes are dry and scratchy and my cheeks feel slightly rough from the salt. I have no tears left, and now I just feel drained. No longer filled with that first despair, but just sort of...helpless. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Thank you, though, to those who posted well-wishes in the previous post. It makes little practical difference, but sometimes it's nice to remember others understand the emotional turmoil this sort of time presents. I swear, for the past months, my emotions have been a roller coaster, so thank you all for putting up with me during it.