I remember early mornings. I remember the cold air engulfing my face as my parents carried me during the cold months of winter. I remember arriving to Grandma’s house early each morning to be carefully tucked into what I called my second home. I can still remember my grandmother panicked as to whom opened the door. My mother would cautiously approach, as not to scare her and my grandmother would calm down for a moment as my mother spoke softly to her. The headlights left the drive way and I quickly fell into dreamland.
As morning approached I could see the sun beaming down onto me through the window. I slowly turned over wanting just to sleep five more minutes before I had to get ready to go to school. Suddenly, like my grandmother shrieked down the hallway.
“Lisa! Lisa!”, she exclaimed.
I quickly awoke and walked down the hallway to find her struggling to wheel herself to the living room. I quietly told her that I was there and whisked her away to her spot on the couch. I helped her frail body transfer from her wheel chair to the couch and grabbed a banana for her to eat. I then ran back into the kitchen to grab her coffee and a variety of pills in the box labeled Tuesday.
I had tried to tell my grandmother many times that my name was Kayla, but she could never remember. Since an early age, I had adopted my mother’s name, Lisa. To her the name brought back fond memories of my mother as a child and it gave her a sense of relief to believe that her daughter was there continuing to take care of her. To most a name would mean nothing more than a person, but to me the name was a reminder every day of the horrible disease slowing taking my grandmothers life.
“Did you remember to grab my pills for Saturday Lisa?”
“I remember y...
... middle of paper ...
Taking care of my grandma with Alzheimer’s disease has changed my life. She taught me to be patient and caring, but most importantly that love isn’t defined in words. Love is defined in actions and gestures toward another person and even though she didn’t know my name, I knew that somewhere deep down inside was the grandmother that loved me dearly. She was in there and knew exactly who I was, but she just couldn’t express it to me at the time. Alzheimer’s took away many precious memories of my grandmothers. It took away her memories of not only myself, but many others in her life. It took away her ability to think for herself. It took away her self-reliance, but the one thing Alzheimer’s didn’t take away was the love she had for her family. Behind the anxiety and forgetfulness was just a fun loving person who just wanted to be a normal grandmother.
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