Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Memory

A surprise Christmas visit about 6 years ago
Walking down the hallways of the retirement village my grandparents had lived in for a decade filled me with sadness. I hadn't been back since my grandpa died last November and I was hit with how different things are now that he is gone. Flooded with memories of happier times... it was hard to be in the reality of what was.

Both of my grandparents had been so actively involved in the community there. They played the piano and organ in chapel, my grandpa was on the pool team and my grandma helped out at the goody shop. They were both very alive and... though previously I had thought they were just waiting to go to heaven... they had been revived in a way.

Reminding grandma about the recipe book she made 
My grandpa was now gone and instead of taking the elevator to their apartment I was taking it to the memory ward... the area for patients who suffer from dementia. My beloved grandmother who I always believed would live for a very long time accompanied by her wit and sharp memory was now more than ever lost in a sea of forgetfulness.

When she first saw Mikayla she said she knew who she was... but a few minutes later we had to remind her who we all were. Her tiny room void of all memories of the past made it hard to feel cheerful at all, but we all did our best to have large smiles on our faces and to treasure the precious moments we had with her.

Mikayla was the brightest light while we were together. Being her sweet self she kept making my grandma smile, especially when she kept calling her Great Grandma Yogurt. Grandma also kept asking me why I was so fat... I had to continually remind her that I was pregnant. :)

I ended up getting to sit with her alone for about an hour... reading to her out of the cookbook she wrote for my sister I told her how she used to make amazing food and how she taught us to bake. I shared what was going on in my life although I had to continually remind her who I was. I then sat with her while she ate dinner and watching her struggle to bring a spoon to her mouth was so hard to watch. This was the woman who would always tell my sister and I to clean our plates, to chew with our mouths closed and to slowly enjoy the food we were eating. This woman could now hardly feed herself. Her sassiness every present... I kept asking if I could help her and she kept saying "no thanks mother"
Christina playing music for grandma

Growing old... it's hard. But everyday the older we get the more we are taught and the more we try to apply what we learn. Even though we continue to fail one moment after the next... we need to keep trying. I wish I had told my grandma what an influence she had on my life when she could still comprehend things... but that moment is gone. Instead I will tell her now and hope that she feels loved and appreciated.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Only Child

Today something very random happened to me while sitting in story time with Mikayla. She was snuggled up against me and we were listening to a story about a little lamb and butterfly. I was  loving the cuddle time and then it hit me... soon it would no longer be just the two of us. It was very difficult to not just start sobbing right then and there.

I guess I haven't really thought about the fact that Mikayla will no longer be an only child. In these past two months of being a stay at home mom the challenges have been daily, but looking back the rewards have been great. I have been given a gift to spend these last months with Mikayla in tons of one on one time and undivided attention. I am going to try dwell on this fact in the remaining weeks that follow and make the most of mama and Mimi time!