The Songs of our BodiesGrandma Wedding fought against her rebellious pancreas for two years before she died. My dad and I had gone to visit her a year after she'd been diagnosed with cancer, and he had told me to be prepared to see how skeletal she was. I have a feeling he said it to himself, too. As we sat around the dinner table playing cards, I would look over and see her thin, grey hair falling across her skull in loose spindles; her fingers bulging at the knuckles; her skin clinging to her tendons and ligaments like they were the only things keeping her together, strung taut in skinny belay lines down her arms and neck. When I knocked on the table, signaling that everybody had one more turn before I laid down my cards, she looked at me in feigned shock and rearranged the cards in her hand with a dignified "Pffff!".
My dad's parents both grew up deaf. Grandma was born without any hearing and grandpa contracted spinal meningitis when he was 6 months old. Instead of killing him, the disease damaged his ves