A few weeks ago, my grandmother that has Alzheimer's disease, started on a downward spiral. She has become so very confused, disoriented, weak, tired, sometimes mean, and completely unlike herself at all. It's hard. It's sad. I've cried a lot of tears in the last few weeks. It's awful when someone you adore doesn't even know who you are. She no longer knows my name. But, yet in spite of all of that, her spirit is still inside fighting. She told me the other day she didn't remember me... all I could say in return was, that I remembered her, and my memories would be enough for both of us.
I've been in charge of giving her medicine to her morning and evening. Some days she tries to shove me out the doorway. Some days she gets mad, or acts bothered by my presence. But, after I give her the pills she hates to take, she usually forgets why she was mad to begin with. I guess that is one beautiful thing about the disease she has.
Over the last few years I'm ashamed to say I've stopped visiting her very often. My heart just felt crushed every time I saw her and I knew she had no idea who I even was. I feel thankful in an odd way that she has taken this turn, and needed extra help, it has forced me to step up and do what I knew to be right all along, which was to love her, and take care of her, even though she doesn't know me, but because I KNOW HER. Not only do I know her, oh how I love her. My love is deep for her. My sweetest childhood memories ARE HER. She was my very best friend until her disease stole her from me. There have been times as a grown adult, that I needed a certain kind of advise, or a special kind of comforting, that I would have given any earthly possession to be able to crawl in her lap and have a talk...
(Gigi with Meritt when she was days old!)
These last few weeks have taught me an incredibly priceless lesson. I was afraid to spend too much time with her with her disease, afraid that I would only be able to remember her as she is now. I was fearful my other memories would fade. I now know, that just isn't true. My memories are mine. No one will ever take that away. Not a disease of the memory and mind, or any time in between...
(Gigi with Bella Christmas 2006)
Today, I am SO GRATEFUL for all of the memories I have with my Gram... she was an amazing lady. She was fun. She had this way of always making me feel I was home, and that I belonged.
I hope as I spend this time with her now, even though she doesn't remember, and is so confused, that somehow, she'll still know and feel the love that has always been between our two hearts!
I am so glad that my girls have at the very least had some time with her. Especially Bella, she loves her Gigi, and will always have her own memories with her. I am so glad that I have these pictures of my girls with Gigi, they are priceless to me!
I'm Mandy. Mama, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Lover of God... Each day is a journey. Life is an adventure. At this point in my life, I try to go one day at a time, enjoying the moment I'm in, because today is a gift that will be gone tomorrow. I hope this can be a place to share the joy that can be found in everyday simpleness, watching kids grow, enjoying those you love, and this crazy little thing called life!