Perhaps her propensity for threats of violence has to do with the aging process itself. She has long maintained that it's hell to get old.
Unfortunately, memory loss is rearing its ugly head. It's especially hard for her because she knows her mind is going (her words). Well, sometimes she knows it. At other times, she will employ her finely-honed skill of denial and inherent Germanic stubbornness and answer your patient reminders with, "Bull$#1t!"
And really, what can I say to that? I mean, I don't want to get shot in the foot.
But my grandma wasn't always this cranky, y'all. She and my grandpa helped raise me, and my grandma was my soft place to fall. She loved me (even liked me a little) during my distinctly UNlovable teen years. She was the pie-baking, favorite-meal-cooking, nurse-me-when-I-was-sick grandma of my dreams for my entire childhood. So although she's feisty and sometimes difficult now, I can't turn my back on her and leave her care to strangers.
But I ain't gonna lie, caregiving is hard. And the least of it is the actual work involved. Guilt trips should be classified as lethal weapons, as a well-timed guilt trip can lead one to consider jumping off the roof of the nearest Golden Corral. (Ooh, remind me to tell you the Golden Corral story someday.)
The upside to having such a scrappy grandma is that she can be really funny. One of our "things" is to lie to the ER staff when she goes to the hospital.* She plays right along. When she had a heart attack in 2009, we told the nurse that she fell while drinking. A few weeks ago, she was rushed to the ER with difficulty breathing. (She's fine now.) I told the nurse that she streaks around her apartment building in nothing but Depends. My grandma, scared as she was at the time, cracked up and slapped me. And then cracked up again when her nurse responded, "You shouldn't be running in your condition!" *(Disclaimer: We let the staff know we're kidding right after the joke.)
Perhaps my favorite Meemaw-ism occurred last week when we had her over for dinner. We were discussing our um, exciting week at home with all the neighborhood kids out of school because of the snow. In the course of the conversation, I mentioned some smackdowns initiated by Shrinky Dink's eldest daughter (Thing 1). I explained that Thing 1 has trouble with impulse control, and that when she's upset, it seems like she needs some form of external control. My grandma deadpanned, "Yeah, like a two-by-four."
I think I'll pass along her suggestion.