Earlier today, my grandmother passed away. She had Alzheimer's disease and for the past several years, she has been living in a nursing home. Two or three years ago, she fell and broke her hip. She never walked again. Recently, she was not able to recognize my mother any more and she was just a shell of the person I remember.
Tonight, KC and I dropped the girls off at the gym and went out to dinner. We toasted her memory with a good Merlot.
Here's how I choose to remember Nana:
I remember her sitting out on the front lawn at the lake doing yoga.
I remember laying on a blanket looking up at the clouds and finding pictures.
I remember sitting on the front step while she told us stories. In particular, I remember her pausing mid thought and the sound of her inhaling on her cigarette.
I remember her eating my burnt toast and tomatoes.
I remember the "Rent-a-Wreck" she rented to take us around in.
I remember circus peanuts and candy fruit slices.
I remember her fried potatoes.
I remember she put a baking soda poultice on my elbow when I was stung by a yellow jacket.
I remember calling her to spell check hard words.
I remember her teaching me to play "Spite and Malice" and Canasta.
I remember her smile and spunk and and almost swearing. "Well isn't this a mell of a hess!"
So although she's been someone else for several years, it still leaves a hole in my heart knowing she is gone for good. I know she is in a better place now and she is no longer in a state of confusion.
We stopped in to see her last time we were in NY. She was actually looking pretty good compared to the previous few times we'd seen her. We took this picture of her with the kids.
As we left, I bent over and whispered in her ear, "Give 'em Hell, Nana!" She just smiled. So, now you are in a better place but you can still "Give 'em Hell, Nana!"
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun