Going Bananas
Categories: living

Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs.  Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases! ~ Patch Adams

By: Michelina Docimo

I walked into her hospital room and she was being fed her dinner – broccoli and chicken… mostly broccoli.  My grandmother had been in the hospital for a few weeks now – every day demanding to be brought home.  I knew she was leaving us.   A mother’s day visit is what landed her here, in bed.  Having dinner together, her behavior was different, confused, rambling of people and events from the distant past mixed with those of her present.  She wished me Happy Mother’s Day and I smiled and said, but I’m not a mother yet and completely in her senses she replied, But you’re getting your nest ready.  Throughout the afternoon, I and everyone at the table accepted all of her wishes – Happy Birthday, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Easter, and when calls started to come in, Happy New Year.  I sat there with half a smile wanting to erupt in tears, but swallowed them with my meal.  That evening we took her to the hospital even though she vehemently refused.  Some days were better than others, hopeful and an unpleasant waiting, both which required tremendous patience.  How are you feeling, I asked as I usually did when I called or visited and she would give her usual response – good.  This time it was a serious look, with half a hmmm, and a hand lifted midway with a shake that meant half and half.  It made me laugh anyway even though it meant – not good.  I’m ready to go home.  I know, I said, just a few more days.  I brought her cherries this time, something different than bananas.  Her potassium level was high and the nurses said no bananas.  But bananas is what she craved.  Every day she insisted on bananas even when we told her no bananas.  But we gave them to her anyway.  There was a hole of hope when she ate bananas so the whole family would smuggle bananas into the hospital and she was satisfied.  The nurses knew, but we figured they did and did it anyway.  Standing in the doorway, waiting for her to finish her dinner, I spotted two clowns walking in the halls.  I thought they wouldn’t come into my grandmother’s room – that they were there to visit sick children.  But they did pop in and when my grandmother caught glimpse of their red noses, patchwork tweed jackets, bowties and oversized glasses – her eyes opened wide and she let out a big ah and half laugh.  One of the clowns was holding a plastic banana and I suggested – you better put that away.  That ah moment hit me hard.  It made me remember when I would take sick days from school, lounging with my grandmother watching I love Lucy re-runs – laughing.


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