From The New York Times:
HONOLULU -- On a whirlwind trip back to Hawaii, Senator Barack Obama spent more than an hour visiting his ailing grandmother late Thursday and is set to return to her bedside on Friday morning after arriving here on a nine-hour flight from the Midwestern battleground of the presidential campaign.
As soon as he arrived on the island of Oahu, Mr. Obama went to the Punahou Circle Apartments, where his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, lies gravely ill. She is to turn 86 on Sunday, but aides to Mr. Obama said doctors advised him not to delay his visit.
It was an unusual departure from the tug-of-war of the presidential campaign, with 11 days remaining in the race. But it was a trip that advisers said he told them was not negotiable. He missed his mother's death here in 1995, a mistake he said he did not intend to repeat with his grandmother, who has been a stalwart in his life.
Obama discussed the trip on ABC this morning:
"I want to give her a kiss and a hug," the Democratic presidential candidate told Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview for "Good Morning America" before heading for Hawaii to see his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, the woman who largely raised him.
"And then we're going to find out what chores I can do, because I'm sure there's been some stuff that's been left undone," he said.
The Illinois senator took the unprecedented step of quitting the presidential campaign with less than two weeks to go so he could hurry home to the apartment he grew up in and see Dunhill. He rejoins the campaign Saturday.
Toot, which is short for "tutu," the Hawaiian word for grandparent, has been sick for a while and recently fell and broke her hip.
"Without going through the details too much, she's gravely ill," Obama told Roberts in an interview that aired today on "GMA."
Besides the hip, Obama said, "She had some other problems that were getting worse. You know, we weren't sure, and I'm still not sure, whether she makes it to Election Day.
"We're all praying and we hope she does," he said.
Here's a slideshow we've assembled of Obama's grandmother:
(Slideshow by Anya Strzemien)
Obama with his grandparents Madelyn and Stanley Dunham (aka Toot and Gramps) at his high school graduation in 1979.
Obama's grandparents during World War II. Stanley joined the Army after Pearl Harbor, and Madelyn worked on a bomber assembly line.
Stanley and Madelyn Dunham with their daughter Ann, Obama's mother, on the left.
Obama with his Gramps and Toot in New York City in the 1980s.
A young Obama, at right, with his grandfather Stanley, mother Ann, and sister Maya.
A little Obama plays with his grandfather on the beach.
Madelyn spoke about her grandson in a campaign commercial.