‘I don’t have anything left to do.’

This is Mrs. Graham’s last Christmas.

She’s the lady who lives upstairs from my apartment in Cherokee County. She’s a bright, blunt and charming 93-year-old. Picture Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, only Southern.

She drove a car up until July when, as she says, “I ran into Applebees.” (She was bruised a bit.)

Around Thanksgiving, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and it’s pretty far along. She’s not taking any chemotherapy. She knows it’s a matter of months, if not sooner.

Since she got the word, she’s had a steady stream of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren coming to visit, trying to ease her waning days even as they act like it’s just another visit.

She’s the calmest of them all.

“I’m not afraid,” she says. “I’m 93. When you’re 93, you’re going to die of something. I know something was going to get me.”

She adds: “I don’t have anything left to do.”

But Christmas will never be the same for this family, or for me. I’ve known Mrs. Graham for 10 years. Once a month I go upstairs and we sit and talk for a half-hour. She comforted me when my dad passed away three years ago. She knows all about my mom’s illnesses and my wife’s community work, and she’s completely up to date on the health of my aging cat, Emma.

I treasure her. I don’t have many people in my life who look me square in the eye and say, “I think you’re real sweet.”

I, in turn, know all about her trips in younger years to Switzerland and Japan and China, and all the clocks she brought back from those places. Once an hour they fill her apartment with sound. I know how much she misses her late husband, and how proud she is of her kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. I’ve come to know them, as she’s invited me to many Christmas dinners.

It’s a family full of not just over-achievers, but uber-achievers. So when she got her diagnosis, they all sprang into action.

Her grandson, Johnny, president of a sports gear company, flew in and made sure she had an oncologist and was scheduled for an MRI. Eddie, her other grandson, brought his kids to visit.

Their father, John Fryer Jr. — who flew 161 combat missions in Southeast Asia and and later worked at the Pentagon — showed the MRI to a buddy who’s the head of surgery at a hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., where he lives. The buddy said she needed a stent in her gall bladder and some injections to help with the pain.

John and his wife, Carol, who is Mrs. Graham’s daughter, came to Canton and have stayed.

Mrs. Graham, of course, had to all but be dragged kicking and screaming to the hospital for the stent. She either doesn’t want to be bothered, or be a bother. I can’t tell.

Her family members don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. They just want to help.

“Everybody’s been pretty normal,” Mrs. Graham quipped: “Bossy as hell.”

Each is dealing with her illness in their own way. Carol tries to stay upbeat. But she gets perturbed when Mrs. Graham, who refuses to use her cane, bends over to pick up some speck on the floor. Carol’s afraid she’s going to lean over and just keep going.

Mrs. Graham lives with her other daughter, Donna, who invited her in after Mrs. Graham’s husband passed away a decade ago. Donna says she didn’t want her mom to be alone. She wanted to make sure her mother would be safe and happy. After 10 years of living together, Donna says Mrs. Graham has become the voice in the back of her head, urging practicality and common sense. Donna’s been crying herself to sleep.

Mrs. Graham has been slowly declining in recent years. When she greets me at the door, she makes her way back to her chair by supporting herself on one piece of furniture after another. Then there was the night I got a call that she had toppled over and needed help getting back up. But she goes to the hair salon once a week, and even her old clothes are nice.

Her keen interest in politics hasn’t waned a bit. “Craig,” she’ll say to me, “What do you think of Obama?”

I say something noncommittal.

“Well,” she says, “I think he’s going to ruin this country.”

Her goal, even now, is to vote next fall.

These days, my moments with Mrs. Graham are much as they’ve always been, but they feel extra-special, like she’s quietly teaching me lessons I’ve yet to learn.

I tell her about some article I’m writing for the paper. She gives me a health update. Recently, I walked away thinking it was like something in that book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” You know, that I could tell her just about anything.

Then I realized I’ve always felt that way with her.

Christmas dinner this year was sweet, surprising for how normal it seemed. We talked about how great the turkey turned out. Donna offered a forensic analysis of a tragedy in her fish tank. Mrs. Graham wore a whimsical green sweater vest decorated with snowmen. She ate well, though less than in previous years.

Every once in a while I snuck a look at her, sometimes smiling as she took it all in, sometimes lost in thought, her eyes very far away.

Later, she asked to be excused and went to sit in her room. I went in for a visit. She sat with a blue blanket on her lap; then I realized it was a heating pad.

As a reporter, I wanted to ask her the big questions: What’s it like to know what she knows? What will she miss most?

But then I thought: Why bother? Why bother her?

After all, this is Mrs. Graham’s last Christmas.