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Posts Tagged ‘loss of memory’

After 12 years with Alzheimer’s Disease, this was the year Gram didn’t remember me when I visited her at the nursing home. My father said, “Mom, do you remember this girl?” She looked at me and said no. The toughest part was enduring her playful laugh as I sobbed in my hands. She was confused and amused as to why this strange girl was crying. I had a feeling this would be the dreaded moment because the instant we locked eyes, there was no spark of love, memories or the faintest feeling of familiarity. I was just another face.

Gram and I were close because I lived in her upstairs apartment, while she resided in the lower flat, for a few years. This was a symbiotic relationship because Gramps passed, leaving her alone and this gave me an opportunity to experienced some independence.

We spent a great deal of time together and became friends. She would often invite me to lunch (on her) and after some time, were regulars at Albert’s, Denny’s and Casa de Pizza.

When Gramps entered the nursing home, my Grandmother rearranged her schedule to care for him and he was not the easiest husband. She would help anyone who needed it and sincerely would give you the shirt off her back.

I loved living with her because she was never in a bad mood (or pretended). She would yell up to me, “Diana, do you want a cup of coffee?” Instant was her favorite, probably because she did not want to remember how to work a coffee maker. It was a nasty cup of coffee, but the company was great. Whenever I am offered an instant cup of coffee now, I gladly accept and memories of Gram flood my brain and the cup is savory and tolerable.

Gram always slipped me some “gas” money, bought  jewelry from the local department store or cooked hot meals for me, a poor college student. I miss those days and there will be nothing that comes close to replacing them.

I wear her jewelry with pride and share the story of her when these gems are questioned and admired.

Gram is a beautiful person inside and out.

 I sometimes think she is now living the life she should have all along, because of how Alzheimer’s has changed her. Unfortunately, Gram had a few regrets in life and would have never been caught dead wearing the hat below. I think Alzheimer’s Disease has given her a bit of freedom and playfulness she never felt comfortable expressing without the disease.

10 years ago, Gram was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease during our wedding. I know she was a bit confused, but looked lovely. She knew how to play it off by saying, “Hi honey” or “Yes, Yes, I remember you”, but never did state their name.

If in the triad area, we will informally gather to papercraft memories, more info here

I created an Alzheimer’s Awareness Ribbon (magnet) for my grandmother. The ribbon color is purple, hence the purple cording around the edges and the purple paper in the background.

There are so many ways to create meaningful keepsakes of those we love dearly.

I love you Gram…..

Read my mother’s perspective…

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