I don’t exactly know how to blog about this.  My favorite grandmother died last spring, April 7th to be exact.  It’s been almost a year, and I still miss her every day. I haven’t written publicly about this yet.  I haven’t known how.  I don’t even know if this is how I want to do it.

When I was 14ish, she was dating again after my grandfathers death.  We were all sitting at a restaurant and she had a photo her and her boyfriend together.  For one reason or another I didn’t want to see it and I remember her saying, “fine, I’ll never look at a photo of your boyfriend” in jest.  She never got to.  By the time my first serious boyfriend rolled around there was no point to introduce him as such, or to show her a picture.

In 2008, she was diagnosed with Alziemers.  I was a freshman in college and buried myself in my new friends and everything that was going on around me to avoid it.  I’d visit her when I was home.  The first year or so of her illness were almost easy, for me anyway.  I should acknowledge that I wasn’t in on most of the things that happened in this timespan.  No one really told me much, looking back, I think I was probably better for it.  Mom and I visit her when I was home and we’d talk about church news mostly, occasionally my school.  In 2009, she moved farther north, closer to my Aunt.  Mom and I found more time to visit than we had before, we knew it was more important than ever.

March of 2011, I was out of town when my grandmother took a turn for the worse, a serious turn.  She was in hospice care at this point.  Upon getting back to town at my fathers, my then boyfriend picked me up and we went straight to my moms as opposed the apartment we shared.  After this visit we started this cycle, I came home every single weekend and sometimes midweek to visit.  I probably put almost 2000 miles on my car in this five or six week timespan.  In the eighteen months I owned that car I only put on about 10,000 miles on her, to give you some perspective of how little I drive.

One visit towards the end of march, it was most of the family.  My mother, two cousins, a cousins spouse, my aunt, myself and my grandmother all sitting in her tiny nursing home apartment.  On this day she was really with us. At this point when we’d visit, it was mostly talking to my aunt and reading the paper or a book while my grandmother slept in her chair.  But on this day she was really with us, we were all telling stories about growing up at her house and just family stories.  She was nodding and laughing with us as we told stories.  She was tracking the conversation in ways she hadn’t in a long time.

It’s been almost a year sense that day in her apartment.  She’ll be gone a year on April 7th. I still miss her everyday.  Facebook posts posted by my family about still send me into tears and when I found I inherited a fine china set, I’m pretty sure I was crying for an hour.

We started this process of dealing with Alzhiemers almost four years ago.  It was simultaneously harder than I could have imagined and easier than what I had been told. We counted our blessings at the end because she knew us til the end, because we had the worlds best hospice workers, and because most of my family realized the importance of rallying around each other at this time.


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