It's the Jewish day of Attonement today. All is quiet outside, with no cars, no television, although there are slews of children on bicycles riding around the empty streets.
And we are waiting. I came home to my grandmother yesterday morning, after a very long flight, feeling tired, dirty and anxious. The conversation in the car centred around me telling her the news, but, in the end, the doctor told her, while I sat beside her. He kept talking about "growths" and I have been thinking about the word "cancer" and how people don't say it as if saying it makes the tumour grow.
Because my parents aren't talking to anyone until Wednesday, we are waiting. I am about to apply for a visa waiver for my grandmother to the States, in case we are going to pack everything and go back to Houston. The tired part of me does not really want to do that.
In any case, my grandmother cried, obviously, but since then she has been utterly amazing. About 7 hours after we talked to her, she finally got to speak to my dad. She had been saying that she doesn't trust the doctors, that they have been wrong all this time and that she can't lose her son in the same way she lost her brother. Then, on the phone to my father, she said "I can feel in my heart that we are going to beat this. I just know it. And you are getting the best care in the world". And, at that moment, I thought, when I grow up, I want to be just like her. When the moment of truth came, she stepped up and consoled her son in a way only a mother can, putting all her doubts and fears aside to tell him that everything will be alright. And I love her for that more than I can possibly say. This 80 year old woman is my hero and I will be pleased if I can get through this with half as much grace and courage that she is showing.
So we are waiting. We are watching DVDs to pass the time until the television comes back on, but we have had a steady stream of guests. My dad's cousin lives nearby, and she has been with us for a good chunk of the last two days.
People sometimes think that my family is odd, because we are so closely knit and seem to be in each others affairs a lot. But now I know how to answer them. In times of crisis, it is my type of family that survives. Because we will move heaven and earth for each other and never let the support flag.