Like many older men and women…Nonna often ruminates about her “pre-death plans” (or the place she will live, and the people she will speak to before she officially meets my roommate). Usually, Nonna talks about how she will never leave her current home and would like to die in her bed wearing a beautiful night gown and holding her rosary beads. However, given her recent concern that no one will find her for three or four days after she dies (apparently she forgot that 1) I live here and 2) My dad lives two houses away), Nonna is considering an assisted living home after she reaches 94.
Nonna: I think I decide I go to a nursing home.
Nonna: When I gonna die…I go to a nursing home.
Me: When you die, we’re gonna put you in the ground.
Nonna: No….before I die, I gonna go into a nursing home.
Me: Why, you can come live with me…or dad…or uncle frank?
Nonna: No, I don want to see you shitty people, I gonna make my own friends and see people when I want. And somebody else is gonna wipe my ass for me. You no gonna do it. You father and uncle no gonna do it. You gonna remember me beautiful.
Me: Why are you going to need your ass wiped?
Nonna: My plan is one day I gonna say, I don wan to take care on myself no more and I gonna trow myself down the stairs.
Me: Are you being serious?
Nonna: Yes. My aunt did it. She trow herself down the stairs and at the hospital she say, ‘don take me home…take me right to the assistant home’ and she say screw my daughter, my son, my daughter in law and everyone else.
Me: So you would be “screwing all of us”
Nonna: Yes, because if i do that it means no one takin care on me.
Me: I am so confused.
Nonna: Ok I splain to you….I know you gonna leave me and go away and startin your own family. Then you no like your nonna and you say go to hell. Then, if i gonna get sick, you gonna say come livin on my house and i gonna say screw you and trow myself down the stairs and tell the doctor to puttin me in the nursing home.
Me: You are seriously crazy.
Nonna: No I am thinkin. I need to prepare myself. When I am ninety four I gonna do these things.
Me: Why 94.
Nonna: Because by then everyone forget about me. You won even remember you have a nonna. I am hold lady.
Me: You are probably right. After 80 you will be pretty useless to me. You probably won’t be able to make stromboli anymore.
Nonna: Get the hell out of my face. I makin stromboli to the day I die. I goin in my nursing home kitchen and teachin them how to cook.
Me: I wouldn’t have it any other way…
T-20 years until Nonna moves into her retirement home…guess I should start packing her clothes now.