December 2, 2009

In Black & White

I am surprised by how much it hurts.

After an e-mail from my Aunt, I ask for the official report. My Dad sends it to me, and I read.

I have to pause several times as tears come and my vision is blurred.

It's not entirely unexpected. At 84 years old, it has been apparent for some time now that my Grandmother is not quite who she used to be.

After my Grandfather died in 1990 and she supported herself as a realtor after that. For some retirement is easy, but my Grandmother was not one of those people. She worked part time until she was 80. She has supported herself and been self-sufficient for a long time.

But lately, we've all known that she can't take care of things as well. It's hard for her to keep that big house clean by herself.

Earlier this year, she got lost on the way to the Ocean City shore house she's been going to for decades. She has bumped curbs and bumpers.

Sometimes, she has to be reminded of who the people are in the pictures around the house.

Depression. Moderate dementia. Alzheimer's.

I guess it doesn't matter what you "know."

Somehow, seeing it in black and white on a piece of paper just makes it real. Somehow, reading the test results and the numbers from a neurological evaluation is just different.

I cry partially because I feel helpless. Living clear across the country, there isn't much I can do to help. I will send a letter with pictures later this week, because I know she'll like it. But I wish that I could be there to just spend more time with her.

She is Sam's only living great-grandparent. Even if he remembers her, he won't be able to remember her how I'd want him to.

I cry partially because I know she will be heartbroken, she will be resistant. She never wanted to see the doctor in the first place, and she doesn't think there is anything wrong. She is stubborn, but at 84, who wouldn't be, really?

Even if she knows, what must it be like to know that you are losing yourself? It tears at my chest even thinking about it.

I didn't expect it to hurt so much.


Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I know how much it hurts to see a loved one go through that. WE did it with my husbands grandma....she was giving her antiques away to the mailman.

Melissa aka Equidae said...

so sorry sweet

Megan R. said...

Oh, Im so sorry! I love the letter and pictures idea, that should lift her spirits!

Mama Bee said...

I'm so sorry! :( I wish I had some deep and thoughtful words for you but I really got nothing so I'll just borrow from a well-known philosopher:

"What you gon' do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump."

Did that help?