I can still remember where I was sitting at the table down by the lake of our cabin when my parents finally told us that my grandma was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I can still picture the flames flickering in the fire we were sitting around, the loons across the lake making their final evening calls to each other before going off to sleep. I remember hearing my mom say “Grandpa knows he has to take care of her more now then ever, which is a huge step for him.” At that moment in time, everything went quiet.
I believe families can persevere through the hard times. This year my Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At first it felt like someone had just taken the floor from underneath me and I was just falling slowly. Then I realized why is this bad? She can now get the help she needs and maybe it will work out.
My grandma is a great little old lady. She is always wearing her cardinal red lipstick with her bright pink colored nail polish. She still goes to the same place to get her hair perm done just the right way. Sure she was a little spacey from time to time but what 78 year old woman isn’t? When we found out she had Alzheimer’s it was both a dread and relief. Families can either thrive and over come, or they can fall down a dark path of not caring and scar their hearts for the rest of their lives. We chose to overcome because we want our Grandma to remember that her favorite nail color is I’m-going-to-burn-your-retinas Pink.
My Grandpa is the most affected of all. Now he is a proud man and rarely will admit there is a problem so for him to acknowledge that his wife, his love, needs help is remarkable. I can just imagine this huge man of 6’3” ish frame sitting next to the wee size of 5 foot nothing woman and helping her put on her Good-lord-it’s-bright-enough-grandma pink nail polish. He had to change around how he lived his life. A bit less drinking and a bit more watching her stories with her so she doesn’t feel alone. My grandpa is persevering through this just like every other hardship he has faced; with a giant grin and a laugh after saying “Well at least we still are alive.”
I know my grandma will just get progressively worse. But, even through the time until that moment where she will stop pinching my cheek and saying how I’m her cutie patootie, I will love her no less. She’s my grandma and I know my family can overcome this and come together in order for her to feel like nothing is changing, even though all of our worlds were rocked for a time. So Grandma keep wearing that Bright red lipstick and ridiculously bright pink nail polish, because your family is behind you the entire way.