This I Believe

Jessica - Stratford, Iowa
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, illness, love

I believe That He Will Never Forget Me…

I will forever carry the wonderful moments I had with him in my mind. I drive by the prison-like building with a huge knot in my stomach at least two times a day, hoping to see my grandpa staring blankly out the window. It kills me to see how fast dementia can take someone out of this world. One minute, my grandpa was up and going like normal, but the next minute he couldn’t even stand up without a terrible struggle. This disease has taken away one of the most loving people in my life, and will never give him back. Even though this concept is very hard to grasp, I know that deep inside he will always remember me.

The other day I decided to stop in and see him, because I have a great fear of him being lonely. I sat down next to him in a folding chair, and grabbed his hand like I always do. While I was busy gabbing about my everyday life, I noticed that my grandpa’s eyes started to roll in the back of his head. It instantly made me nervous because the nurses said that they thought he had had a stroke in the middle of the prior night. Instead of jumping up and immediately calling for the nurses, I sat and just watched silently. After watching for a little bit I realized that he was not having a stroke at all, he was just concentrating on something really hard. I allowed him the time to think and just kept gazing at him. The hairs started standing up on the back of my neck and tears were swelling in my eyelids. I felt like this thing that he was thinking about was some extravagant thing that I had to brace myself for, but he looked me in the eyes and simply winked at me. All of that trouble just to make a little gesture like that has changed my life dramatically. Believe me, I will never forget it.

As time has been passing by, I always sit and ponder what it would be like to undergo such a horrendous disease. Never knowing if you are going to wake up and not know the love of your life, or not knowing where you are at that time is a scary thing. But thousands of people in this world are being diagnosed with it, and for some people it just has to be a part of their life. I will always love my grandpa, even if someday he gives me an unknowing glance when I walk into the room, or forgets the special nickname that he has for me. I know that deep inside all of those lost brain cells; he will always love and remember me.

Love always and forever without a doubt,