Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a monday morning with gram.

11pm tuesday, april 26 
yeah, you read that date right.
take a breath and get a cup of hot tea, because i'm jumping right in.
that is, if you want to read it.
since i hardly ever talk about this part of life, you might want to.
or not.
it's hard.
and if you didn't know, gram has dementia. has had it for the past how-many years. i don't know the exact year when she started showing signs. but here's a site to give you an idea of it.
i hardly ever realize how much gram affects me...until i read something like this post, from last summer: thoughts. and oddities like coffee;)
i guess it's as good a time as any to post that writing about a good morning with gram.

this picture really makes me miss life 'back then'.
note to self: reading a post like that and listening to the oldie but so lovely song by frank sinatra can make one very sentimental.
written into the computer: monday, april 11, 2011
when this all was: monday, april 4 2011
11-something a.m.
I just finished washing and dressing Gram.
She started out this morn with gobbledy gook, but was talking to me.
She guessed the names of Rachel and Wallace as my name. I told her the right one.
When she thought there was something with business tonight and had the urge to find her black sweater, I told her she should stay home with me and rest.
Because I’m going to make something good—pasta or lentils.
Good dinner.
She made a sweet, surprised face.
No dentures in yet.
Tiny little o of a mouth=surprise.
“Well, lady . . .”
I smiled at her.
“I’m just anxious to get up and do something,” she said, no add-ons or anything.
{Caution: swearing in context found here. This is life with me Gram, and if you can’t take it or are offended, well, skip this post. Toodles.}
The co-op truck is here.
The coffee (New England) is brewed.
I’m getting around to helping Gram get up and ready for the day.
She’s alone in the quiet of Anna’s room that they share.
She’s talking incoherent sentences and pieces. No one gets it so they’re doing something else.
Caleb, we believe, is dairy intolerant.
That hot cocoa [at the family conference weekend] he drank knocked him down. He’s been on the couch sleeping, taking potions, earache and tonsils aching, watching movies since AR. Shoot. I hate it.
He was watching Prince of Persia.
Now: Defiance.
I hate seeing him sick and without that spark in his eyes.
Back to Grammy.
Before I got to her, while I was putting some music on for fun, she was staring at the clothes in the closet ahead of her and lisped out the word “shit.”
I have to say, with no dentures, it’s got a comical air.
“Grandma,” I scolded, though smiling.
She cast a glance in my direction. “Well? Dammit.”
Hey, we’re doing good. no GD yet today.
Or so far as I’ve heard.
“I’ll get something for you to eat.”
“Don’t do too much,” she says.
“Gram, don’t worry about me,” I patted her shoulder. “I’m a young whippersnapper. Only 20 years old.”
“Ah, you are.” She smiled a little.
“Yep, I am. 2 tens. That’s all I am right now. How much are you?”
“No, you’re 8 tens.”
“Yes. Almost 90. You’re 80-something”
She says mhmm and nods, like it’s a sweet fact of life.
“Well, I’ll keep that to myself.” I smiled.
“Yes, you do that. I’m hungry.”
have to post some real life stuff somewhere in here, for history. this is, after all, somewhat like an online journal.
and looking back, clicking on the gram tag, there should be some good and hard stuff to find there.
so that's the purpose. this is a glimpse into one of the bigger, harder areas of my life.
it's something that is hard to see as a whole, and wholly understand it, if you haven't experienced it.
all i can say is, it's hard. but this all has a purpose.
everything shapes us.
and i'm really sorry i delayed in posting this. did you see the date i wrote this? april.
two freaking months back. but i have to post more than coffee and beauty on here sometimes. 
don't feel pressure to comment. 
this was just to get it out.
and for the fact that this is my blog. 
my life. my fill-in-the-blank space. 
be aware that there is a much more recent 
[as in, this morning i wrote it in my real paper journal] 
that may or may not be coming along soon, also. 
it's harder. if you can believe that.   
grace and peace to all who happen to read this.


Mrs. Bement said...

Oh, Hun. I was reading your post, tearing up and the whole tome thinking "I know how you feel". My great-aunt lived with my parents for a few years at the end of her life, and it was... Tough. And sad. And happy sometimes. But overall so "heavy". The last two years before she died she needed help with everything from eating to going to the bathroom to remembering who she was and who we were. She couldn't walk without our help and she couldn't be by herself. It was so difficult to see her like that when we all knew her as an elegant, proper lady. Something definitely changes in you when you experience life and death this close. Sometimes I still break down crying (like I am right now) when I think about her or when something reminds me of her (like tooth-less smiles). Those are the moments I need God's comfort more than ever because there are no words anyone can say to make it better.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Dana

LeAnna said...

Growing old really stinks, you know? Yes, you do. You see it first hand every day...

I have such a soft spot for the elderly people in our lives. I am so, so, so, so thankful that you and your family love your Grams so much. As hard as it is, and believe me, I know it's hard...you are doing the most honorable thing.

Your hearts will ache when she's gone. Mine will ache when mine are gone. And I don't know what I will do for my own Momma, she will be so sad I don't think I'll be able to stand it. Yet life keeps spinning, with no mercy, and soon (if the Lord should tarry) we'll be there, too.

And I pray we will have raised children who love us the same way you guys love your Gram.

chambanachik said...

I think you're brave to post this, but I wish you and your gram didn't have to go through it.

Chana@ Mamma Town said...

You are an angel. Plain and simple. This was beautiful and lovely and just as raw as it should be. I hate that your Gram has to go through this, but how wonderful is it that she has all of you?

vintch said...

just found your lovely blog, and what a sweet, heartfelt post to be introduced to you through. my grandmother was on the brink of alzheimer's when she passed of a heart attack back in 2003. looking back, it was almost a blessing, because i know the heartache that dementia and alzheimer's causes. praying for you and your family. what a sweet gram you have!