Tuesday, July 13, 2010

 Iowa vacation highlights part 2 - where my grandma calls my child frisky and my husband lovely

I have mentioned my grandma on the blog before. I have shared how disheartening it is to watch some one you love and remember as being sharp, spunky,  and independent begin to fail in memory as well as physical and overall mental capacities.

My grandma lives in Iowa. I only see her a couple of times each year.

And I have to admit something.

I almost didn't go to see her.

I almost let my uncertainty of what to say and how to deal with the certainty of not being recognized by her convince me that it didn't matter. She wouldn't know me any way - so it wouldn't matter.

But my heart, of course, was screaming at me that it mattered in ways I couldn't even comprehend.

So we went.

I asked my mom and aunt to go with me. I knew they visited more often and there was a chance she would know them. I tried to set my expectations realistically.

She was in her wheelchair in the garden area of the nursing facility that is now her home.

Her words didn't make alot of sense at first, but her eyes brightened noticeably. She tried to choose the words she wanted and it was obvious that she couldn't find them. Sometimes I grasped what she meant, sometimes I could not.

The boys were running around, talking, and playing - unbridled energy.
She made many hand motions and I understood her words to indicate that there were so MANY boys!

Yes, I know!! :)

And then she looked me in the eye and the words came out perfectly: 

"And is it true that you had to give one back?" 

Her sympathy could not be missed - but her meaning was at first.

I laughed and thought - well here we go again , words are just failing her, but that's okay.
Then I saw something in the way she was looking at me and I did a double take.
I did have to give one back.

I think she knows. 

And then she turned to K and smiled at him. Once again her words came more clearly than the other times she spoke. "And look at you. I used to feel sorry for you, but now you are just as frisky as your brothers!"

Frisky - she said frisky and I loved it!

I think she knew us and I think there are days when alot more goes on in her mind than I thought.

I also think that we would have missed out on a whole lot if I had allowed my hesitancy to rule my heart.

I don't know how many visits with her are left. 
-But I won't forget this one.

Oh - and another favorite moment with Grandma - 
We were getting ready to leave and she again was making motions and trying to indicate that there were alot of boys.


And she looked up at me and said "Oh honey - do you have help? -Does anyone come in to help you with all of this" - frantic  hand motion toward the plethora of boys running circles around us.
Loved it. I just smiled and motioned towards Dave. "He does. He's my help." :)
She looked at him and stared for a while and then said "Ohhh, what a lovely man!"

I think she is quite bright really.


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I love grandma margie. I can just picture her with the hand motions :)

And "frisky"...I couldn't love that more :) Kinda like "swacked" ;)

Sara said...

I'm so glad you went to visit her, because how else would I have gotten a taste of this sweet woman?

Dawna said...

Reading this with a smile on my face and a lump in my throat. Remembering my own sweet Granny (so much like yours, it seems), and being thankful that you had this precious time with your sweet grandmother. So sweet. God is good!

kt mac said...

great post Wendi - love the title and love that she used the word frisky too!!

I'm so glad you did get to see her -
my final moments with my Nanna are some of my most painful and sweetest memories of our time together.


Barbie said...

This is so precious!

Amanda said...

wendi...i am crying...full-fledged ugly cry right now (imagine that, right!?). what a sweet and cherished memory...and your response, oh wendi, i love your love for dave. i really, really do. and oh how i just want to make seeing you this summer possible...somehow. i don't know how, but somehow.

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

So sweet. I love her words.

une autre mère said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. My grandpa passed away last summer and his last few years were very similar to what you're describing with your grandma. Cherish these times with her. I wish I had more moments like this with my grandpa.

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Ah, what a precious visit! I love how God gives their minds glimmers of clarity and just the perfect words!

Nikki said...

Wendi--what a beautiful, beautiful post. My grandma passed away a year and a half ago, and for the last year or so she didn't know who almost anyone was. I'm so grateful I was able to visit her just a couple weeks before she went to heaven. Though she didn't know who I was, it was a really special time.

Stacey said...

So nice! A great memory!! I let myself get talked out of visiting my other grandma one night because she wouldn't know me and she passed away the next morning....Good you went...

Heather of the EO said...

Oh lady, I'm so glad you went! And yes, she did know...those moments of clarity and heart are so priceless.

Both my Grandma and my Grandpa lived that long goodbye. It's so hard to see them go and to know that they won't remember at all for long...but every visit really still counts, still matters, I really believe that.