This beautiful lady is my Grandma. Her name is Aline. She is holding my nephew here who rarely enjoys being touched, as he has Aspergers Syndrome. However, there is something about Grandma that allows his guard to come down and her gentleness to penetrate through. This picture speaks volumes of where they both are. Somewhere other than with us. They both have a far off look in their eyes, I often wonder where it is they go. My Grandma has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Each day we watch her change and become someone we no longer know. Someone that is unpredictable in her temper, someone that can’t be left alone, someone that no longer knows how to cook, or even how old she is. The worst part of it is watching it happen, and having to watch my Grandpa lose her everyday. After 66 years of marriage the woman he so loves is only a shell of who she was. She spends her days still going through motions that she remembers. He now spends his days worrying about her, watching her, caring for her. It seems so unfair, and frankly it really makes me mad. I want to punch Alzheimer’s in it’s stupid face.
I would guess that most people don’t have a relationship with their grandparents like I have with mine. They spent their “Golden Years” looking after my sis and I while my Mom worked. I grew up with three parents… Mom, Grandma & Grandpa. My Grandpa and Grandma cared after us like we were their own children and we spent countless hours with them day in and day out. My Grandpa taught me everything I know and love about nature. My Grandma would’ve enjoyed teaching me to cook but I was too busy outside. Later, Now, I wish I would have taken the time to learn her tricks in the kitchen. She made the best chicken and dumplings you’d ever eat, a favorite meal of mine. She made it for me on my birthdays. Now she doesn’t even know how to make this dish anymore. I miss it, the way it tasted and the way it made me feel. The absence of her cooking seems like it would be no big deal, however, it defined her and it was her way of showing us she loved us. She’s cooked a million large family meals, with all the fixins. Anytime family visited from out of state she rolled out the red carpet. Treating them like royalty, cooking every meal, cleaning up after every super, and making her famous Peach Cobbler or Apple Pie. I miss sitting on the back porch with my Grandpa looking at the stars on a warm summer evening and eating my Grandma’s fresh Apple Pie.
I miss my Grandma. She’s physically still here but no longer herself. Every once in a while for a moment I will get a glimpse of her. I will see who she was, and she will sing. She loves to sing. Mostly show tunes, or little diddy’s as we call them, that no one has ever heard of.
Those moments are so precious. I pray to God for those moments. That we still get to see her every once in a while.
I wish you could meet my Grandparents. I think everyone deserves to know them. They are two of the most wonderful people in the world. They didn’t deserve this. They should’ve gotten a pass…
And that is why I think….