After that first visit, I felt a lot better about was happening with Grandma. Between the great doctors, we got for her, and the nursing home we picked out we couldn’t have taken better care of her ourselves.
I visited her a lot more often as I went to school. Any day of the week that I didn’t have classes I made sure to stop by, and give her some company. You could tell that Grandma’s condition was getting worse over time, but you could tell she was still Grandma on the good days. On bad days, it seemed like holding memories were as pointless as trying to keep water from slipping through your fingers.
Her remembering what I told her wasn’t the point of the visits, however. The point of the visits was to be there simply. It helped me a lot I think in the long run, and I could only imagine it helped her as well having the company even if her head wasn’t quite clear that day.
I didn’t quite think of it at first, but now it’s become obvious that the hardest part of this experience was everything before we helped her into a nursing home. After the dinner we had, everything appeared to crumble all around me.
There was constant fighting, and that tension never loosened for a moment. Not just between my parents, but my grandmother as well which couldn’t have been easy for my parents. Confronting Grandma the first time may have been difficult, but the second attempt, as well as the third, must have only been astronomically harder. Pulling her away from the last memory she had of her husband to put her in better care was hard. I think she secretly only did it for my parents, and that personally my grandmother would’ve rather died in that home than part from it.
I learned a lot from my Dad the whole time. I don’t know what he said to convince Mom to open her eyes to the situation before they got back to Grandma’s house that first night, but his perseverance must have been unbelievably hard to maintain. If he hadn’t been brave enough to confront these troubles head on, though, Grandma wouldn’t have gotten the care she needed as early as she did if at all.
My mom took all of the changes with Grandma the hardest. There were tears at some days I saw her. Her mother was dying, and I could only imagine that I would’ve been the same, so I never said anything to snap her out of it. After her crying, and after her anger she was just numb for a while. Wouldn’t show a real smile, and wouldn’t cry anymore. That was the worst part about it, but after she got over that she had been exactly the person she needed to be to enjoy the time she spent with Grandma at every visit.
Today my parents told me that Grandma passed away. I feel like I should cry, but the tears won’t come. In my room all by myself. We had all known that it had been a long time coming so it wasn’t shocking, but it didn’t make it any less sad.
I felt like I should do something, though. So instead of crying I took out a journal and began writing a story from my perspective of an Alzheimer’s Journey.
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