I am flying out of Houston in a couple of hours to fly to Israel to break the news to my grandmother. I am taking an oncologist with me. Ok, not quite like that, but the way it works is that this guy, a friend of my parents, has been here all along and is now going back to Israel and will come with me to my grandmother. My role, for the next week or so, is to keep her calm and busy until my parents meet with the doctor who will be coordinating my father's treatment. Only then will he decide whether we are coming on a plane to Houston (oh the fun of transatlantic travel) or if they are coming to Israel.
In the meanwhile, my brother has arrived in Houston and the other one will be arriving today. They are not alone, so, as much as it loathes me to leave, my task lies elsewhere.
Luckily, I will not have to do the talking. My job is hand-holding and hugging. And then keeping busy until Wednesday. When I told my grandmother I was coming, she was utterly thrilled, but this will not last long. My job will also be to check that she is physically alright after we tell her. She is 80 years old and healthy, but still, 80 is 80.
I will take her to the theatre, and opera, and restaurant, and I will have to let her buy me clothes, which I despise. But before it sounds like self-pitying martyrdom, I need to point out that I love her very much and this is the next best thing to being with my parents. And, either way, I will be seeing them before the end of next week anyway.
The show opens again this afternoon. I will be on an airplane. C'est la vie.