Happy Valentines Day! To celebrate today, I wanted to share with you a special post that I’ve been working on…but unfortunately, with the circumstances, I find myself talking about another ‘type’ of love.
As you may know, my grandmother moved from down south to stay closer to my family and I as she ages. We recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and celebrated with our family.
It was truly a blessing to spend this day with grandma, celebrating her 90 years of life (so far)!
Being able to spend this last year and a half with my Grandma has been so rewarding. I have a closer relationship with her now, than what I was able to with hundreds of miles being between us.
We’ve accomplished so much in this time…one of which being our ‘Tuesday’s With Grandma‘ Series. I never knew what she was going to say in those videos…and there were some things I wish I never heard lol. But they all made for cherished memories.
Some of you have asked about the next episode of Tuesdays with Grandma… when is the next episode coming out? The truth is, filming Tuesdays with Grandma is something that I loved…and dreaded at the same time. I knew that with each video, and with each day, we were getting closer and closer to the day where ‘filming videos’ would not be an option, because she would no longer be here.
I couldn’t accept that one day, she would be gone. Even now, as much as I want her to find peace, I don’t want to let her go.
Two Sundays ago, my Grandma fell, but she seemed okay. We took her to the hospital out of precaution, thought maybe she was dehydrated…however, we learned that was far from the case. She had suffered a major stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. At first she displayed no symptoms, seeming like her usual self. But that quickly changed. We also found out that the stroke had exasperated her dementia, which no one knew she had.
Her blood sugar dropped. She wasn’t eating. She wasn’t speaking. She would scream and yell at us…saying that we were trying to harm her.
She didn’t know who I was.
My heart literally broke seeing her in the condition that she was in. But I had, and still have to be strong for my family.
It’s amazing how fast life can change. In a span of 3 weeks, we went from celebrating my Grandma’s life, to being told that there were only a few weeks left for her to live.
It has now been a week since bringing her to the hospital. I’ve been with her everyday. We have our good days and our bad days. I’ve learned that with dementia, people often experience ‘sun-downing’, as the day turns into night they become more confused and agitated. This is definitely something that my Grandma experiences, one second she’s happy as can be, the next she’s extremely upset.
Its hard to handle these moments. Sometimes I feel so helpless, especially when she’s upset at me. But I know she doesn’t mean it…to her, sometimes I’m a stranger, and not the 8 year old girl that I should be in her mind.
There are also precious moments, that make me happy, but also leaves me wanting to cry more. Like when she is hallucinating, reliving happy memories, talking to her cat (Dabba Dibba) and her brothers, who died years ago in North Carolina. And best of all, singing songs of praise to Jehovah.
These moments are a blessing. It makes me happy to know that she still finds comfort in her faith, and in loved ones both present and past.
I don’t know what these next couple of days, or months, or however long we have left, will be…but I’ll continue to hold onto the promise of love.
The promise that despite these hard times, despite the pain and heartache, the one thing that we have for each other is love. And the amazing thing about love, is that it is never failing. It transcends space and time. It can break down barriers of sadness and anger. It can make up for loss times, and forge new memories. And it can overcome illness. Love is love is love.
So in ending this post, I will say to you as my grandmother said to me, while in the midst of one of her confusions.
“I love you too….you know that. And don’t you ever forget it.”
I won’t Grandma.
Until next time,