Monday, May 23, 2011

My dear grandmother

My family took a trip this past weekend up north for my brother (and sister-in-law's) baby shower. As mentioned before, I wasn't able to go, but the rest of my family was. While up north, they also visited my grandma who is in a convalescent home. 

While they were visiting her in the home, my mom called me and put my grandma on the phone as she knows that I like to talk to her whenever I can. My conversation with her yesterday left me in tears.

She could hardly carry a conversation. She said hello and I could hear my mom telling her that it was me on the line. I don't know if she understood or even remembered who I was. I asked her how she was and she replied "bien." (she only speaks Spanish) I went on to chit chat with her and ask her some silly questions but she wasn't able to answer any of them. I don't know if it was that she couldn't hear me or that she didn't understand. Every time I would say something or ask her a question she would just chuckle... in a sort of nervous way, like I don't know what you said but I'm going to laugh to fill up the silence. Poor thing.

She has a little doll there that she calls her baby and I was asking her if she had her baby there. I guess my mom heard me say the word baby and thought I was telling her about the kids. I heard her telling my grandma "it's Tiffany. She has 2 little ones..." This made me tear up. I don't have 2 little ones, I have 3. She will never know that...not in this system anyway. Ive mentioned it before but for those that are new readers Ill say it again. My grandmother was already in a home because of her Alzheimer's back when I announced I was pregnant with Genesis. She was one of the first people I told. Genesis was actually going to be named after her. The name we came up with if she was a girl was Eva Violeta. (My grandmother's name is Violeta) I thought Eva Violeta was a nice name but I didn't love it. I settled on it because it was what my husband (at the time) and I agreed on. Well when she died, that changed everything. I went with the name I wanted from the start and named her Genesis. At any rate, when Genesis died I didn't tell my grandmother. I didn't want to distress her or make her sad. I just never brought it up. And I don't even think she even remembered that I was pregnant in the first place. She has never asked about the baby.

As time went on and I had the two rainbows I never corrected anyone in telling her I only had 2 children. I don't want her to be in pain over the loss of Genesis. It's not worth it. She will have forgotten again in 10 minutes and to remind her every time would be unkind. It however doesn't stop hurting me every time I hear someone tell her I have 2 kids. I pray that somewhere in her aged beautiful mind, there is even the most minute distant memory of the fact that I did have a daughter back in 2007, and that I do have 3 children. Even if she cant recall that memory, if I know that its safely locked away somewhere in there, there is a chance that one day it may be released into her subconscious. I know that one day she will remember. 

Its just so tragic what Alzheimer's and age can do. She isn't the same grandmother that I grew up knowing. Physically yes, mentally no. I look at those gorgeous green eyes and there isn't anything behind them anymore. It just kills me. But when she holds my hand, that warmth, that embrace, that little squeeze... it reminds me that she is still in there somewhere and she does still come out from time to time. After I got off the phone with my grandma my mom got back on the phone and told me that today was a "good day" for her. I just started to cry. Her not being able to hold a conversation or know who I am was a "good day". I miss her so much. Here is to remembering better days:


Holly said...

I'm sorry to hear your gma is not the same person she used to be. It's very sad to see such a decline. :(

The Anglin Family said...

Oh, Tiffany. My sweet grandmother lives in a nursing home also and has Alzheimers as well. It breaks my heart as she is no longer there except for an occasional brief moment. Its hard. My nana asks ne how many children I have every few minutes when I see her and I wish I could tell her about Ryan. I remember her heart broke for me when I had a miscarriage.
Your grandmother is stunningly beautiful. Alzheimers is such a painful thing to watch. Your grandmother would be proud of the mother you are to all 3 of your children.

elena said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I was 9 years old when my Nanay passed away and she was in a coma for 1yr 1/2 before that. I am sending thoughts your way and your grandma's way. *hugs*

TanaLee Davis said...

Things like this really hurt a family. Its crazy when you know someone who has it. At first you don't believe they do and then you see for yourself the person is "really lost" mentally.

There is a sister in my hall that has this disease so her poor husband has to watch her constantly. Otherwise she will walk out and get lost in the streets.

I'm sorry mama. The pain I'm sure is unbearable at times. Just remember that soon her mind will be made new by Jehovah. Soon all of this will be a thing of the past.


Caroline said...

I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard when they get older and things change so much. I had a Grandpa that was like and it broke my heart.
Thnking of you and your Grandma.

*Laura Angel said...

:( It breaks my heart to watch our loved ones get older. It is never ever easy!

Tiffany said...

:( It breaks my heart to watch our loved ones get older. It is never ever easy!

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