“But She Doesn’t Know You!”

Today I went to see my maternal Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s and lives in a nursing home. I try to stop in as often as I can when I am in the area. Today I thought about why I even bother.

Someone asked me why I even bother going if she doesn’t know me and this is my answer.

My grandma usually doesn’t know me. Sometimes she doesn’t even know my mom. Today I told her several times that I was getting married, but she doesn’t remember. After I’d been there almost an hour, she remembered my name; but next time I go, she likely won’t. She doesn’t remember what she had for lunch or if she’s having a good day. She forgets that I don’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch and so returns to her mother tongue when talking to me. So we sit together. I ask her questions and she answers. She asks me questions repeatedly, and I answer them. I tell her about my day and what I’m doing. I tease her about keeping the nurses busy, and she tells me that she keeps an eye on everyone. 

The nurses stop by and tell me the latest shenanigans that she’s up too. How she tries to walk or tells them that they need to get busy and do their work. She says she put on her ankle monitor  and the nurses laugh. Even if she doesn’t know them or me, she’s friendly and happy. At times she can be feisty.

So why do I stop in and spend time with her? Because she’s my grandma, my one remaining grandparent. I lost one grandparent to Alzheimer’s already, and I want to experience as many good things as I can with my grandma before it gets worse. I love my grandma and I know her even when she doesn’t know me. She’s my family and always will be. Most of my life I lived 3000 miles away from her, but now I get the chance to be with her more often, and I love it!

Today she told me that she hopes if I have babies that I will tell her about them. I assured her that I will. She also complimented my skirt choice. She appeared restless and a little upset when I arrived, but within a few minutes of my being there, she relaxed and cheered up. 

My grandma is spunky, even at 89 years old with Alzheimer’s. She is an amazing woman who raised 8 children. She can tell me stories about her growing up years. She is determined. And I love seeing where I inherited certain traits from. I inherited her spunkiness, determination, the way she doesn’t let anything stop her, and even the way she sleeps with one hand tucked under her face. 

I love her a lot and want to spend as much time as I can with her. That is why I bother.

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