To lose a family member or any loved one is hard no matter what, So when my grandma started losing her memory due to Alzheimer’s it was a whole new thing for the family. I think everyone knew deep down but maybe had bouts of denial mixed with it, even me because nobody wants that to ever happen to anyone. As time went on things got progressively harder for my Grandpa who’s kids all grew up and was now living with his wife when it got a little too much to handle for one person. Being hours and miles away in Texas was probably the hardest part for my dad and us, not being able to make sure your own mom was okay was probably hard for my Dad, I still admire him for his bravery of always putting on a brave face for his family.
We try to always go in the summer to Maine and visit for about two weeks and luckily I am glad we started going before my grandma got to a point where she could not remember much. I saw the signs and she’d sit and tell me stories about her childhood one after another and some repeated but I just let her tell me the stories. Her face lit up every time she talked about her siblings and things she would do when she was little. My grandma was a very outgoing sometimes hardheaded woman who loved to spend her time reading, gardening, doing arts and crafts, and loved baking. I wasn’t around much seeing as we lived in Texas but I remember my phone calls with my grandparents and telling the most random stories about things I was doing which ended up in them telling me that I was a fibber, I’d like to say I just had a very wild imagination. Even though we lived in Texas and they lived in Maine I still felt very close and not like some random family member.
2013 she was admitted into a Veterans Unit where she could have help 24/7 and my Grandpa wouldn’t have to worry about anything happening to her but of course he still did. He would go everyday to have breakfast, have lunch, and even before it got dark. How do you feel when someone you’ve fallen madly in love with is going through this? I can’t imagine. For me I was worried about her being in pain seeing as there really isn’t much to do when the stage of Alzheimer’s has gone up. I remember praying for her a lot and I tell myself now that she wasn’t in pain and went peacefully. We took a trip that year to visit her, I knew deep down that maybe this would be the last time I would see her so I tried my best to make peace with her and just be in the moment with her. I can remember being told about her state but its very much different when you hear it and seeing it for yourself. I remember having a horrible anxiety attack the first time I went with my Dad and crying when she would ask us who we were. I think as people we have this human nature to want to save someone in need and not being able to do anything at all is very heartbreaking. As the weeks went on we would go visit her every day while we were in town, the funny thing to me was she was always the eccentric lady I remember her being. The anxiety calmed down and like I said I just made peace with myself and her and told myself to be in the moment and just to love her during this time I was given with her. She would have the funniest comebacks to everyone whether it be the nurses or even the other patients. I’m glad that she still had that in her because it was something that I always loved deep down about her even though I never told anyone that.
Later that year she passed, they said it got to a point where there was really nothing much they could do for her anymore. Hearing that was very sad and very real, but I am glad that she was no longer in pain and in a odd state where they can’t remember anything. Death is a odd thing, you are never prepared for it no matter how many times it happens a day. Its a question I will never fully understand that why people are taken from us, but I know that there is a master plan in the universe. As I grew older I realized to never take anyone for granted because you never truly know when it will be the last time you see them. I hope that we can get to a point where there are full cures for this disease. It’s horrible and nobody should ever have to go through that. About a month ago I had a dream that I was in this big forest full of flowers and a swing connected to a tree and my family was with me and my Grandma was taking us all around this forest that had a ocean and showed me this big warehouse that she said was being built for her to plant all her flowers, she sounded happy and excited about that which was always her favorite thing to do on earth and then I woke up. I tell myself that this was her way of letting me know (a constant worrier about other people) that she was at peace and okay in heaven. She left behind a great husband who loved her with everything he had, great children, and a great attitude about life that I will always remember.