I’m knitting a blanket for my Grandma Shirley because thinking about her dementia makes me sad. Every time I open my email there is another sad update about a 24hr nurse or a home. There’s a fall or my poor cousin who is living with her is being yelled at for moving the walls.
Even facebook has become a site I would rather not check. There is a family group that posts sadder and sadder posts. I think it’s meant to be an encouragement but all it makes me want to do is cry. It’s like the grieving process has already started.
So every time I get another post or email I knit. I try not to think about the fact that she won’t know me when I send it to her or that there’s no real point in doing it. I just knit and hope it will take my mind off this terrible sadness.
Grandma was always so sweet and full of facts that I could care less about. We would go on trips and she would talk and talk about Hays, KS and parts of New Hampshire or really any place we were driving through. She would take us to all the little museums on the way to different places. She always knew so much and now she can’t remember where I am or how to spell the city I live in or who I am. Every time I call I have a good cry afterwards because I miss the woman she used to be.
It saddens me to my very core to think she will never be that woman again. A few months ago she asked when I was going to come visit her again and the sad thing is if I could visit her now she wouldn’t know who I am.
For 26 years of my life I would visit her every summer and I would swim in her pool and watch movies in her living room and play games on the back porch and now that’s gone. She’s still here but not.
I can’t imagine the strength of my cousin Tim who lives with her and my aunts: Cindy and Vicki who take care of her on a daily basis. I can’t imagine what it must be like to see your mother or grandmother every day and know she’s not really there.
Sure she remembers somethings and that can be some comfort but she is slipping away and it sucks!
It’s like grieving someone while they are still here. There’s nothing I can do and that saddens me too.
So I knit. I knit a blanket and think about the laughs we had at me trying to knit a purse on the round and getting it all twisted.
I think about the times of drinking coffee at the table and talking about nothing.
I think about swimming in her pool all those summers and playing ABC ball.
I think about Circus cookies and junk food and lasagna with carrots and corn in it 🙂
I think about spending the night in the little bedroom and waking up to donuts.
I think about the excitement on her face when I told her I was going to seminary.
I think about the warm hugs she would give me and sitting on the front porch watching fireworks on the 4th of July.
I think about walking around the lake and talking and the history of her neighborhood.
I think about going to the library and picking out books to read.
I think about road trips and doing crafts together.
As I knit I think about the good times and try to forget about the reality that Grandma Shirley is slipping away until the next time I open my email or check facebook.
I’m knitting because the reality is that dementia sucks!!!!