It was a nice cold evening when I drove out to Nampa to pick up my husband's Grandma, she was at the early stages of Alzheimer so I was asked to take her to the ballet, which was a delightful event! I love all those kinds of things, plays and talent shows I can enjoy even the opera style of singing that doesn't make up sense but feels truly lovely. I have always enjoyed the Orchestra, and most importantly I loose myself into the Shakespeare Festival every single time, going by myself is even better because I don't distracted or interrupted from my focus on the stories unfolding before me.
Taking Grandma to the ballet was easy for me because I know how to direct and talk to someone who forgets every other second what is happening around them.
For I have worked at a nursing home when I was 18, where the Alzheimer patients told a different story about their life every few minuets, since I was their laundry lady I took my time chatting with them while putting their clean clothes away.
And then around that same time in my life I saw a movie in the theater about a married couple who found themselves old and struggling with such confusion when one developed Alzheimer.
It was a beautiful story I never forgot it but I can't remember the title, and it was before the famous movie "The Notebook." This movie was more of a film for our information in how to handle and deal with someone who can't remember who you are anymore and the awareness helps lessen the suffering.
I have always loved learning all these things about living, especially when I was 18 years old I went to many movies on my own for a life lesson it held. I was never afraid nor uncomfortable when around such situations because of what I had learned and related to in these sad stories.
Back when my Grandma had brain cancer I never took her behavior personal, I never felt like she being ridiculous because it wasn't about me, it was about HER completely. I simply realized that I would miss her all the rest of my life, so these days of my care towards her needed to be the best I could create for her and for me, when she passed away I was 23 years old and I saw how people talked about her like she was a super human, like she was a saint for her whole life and I realized in grief we change our perspective of who that person was instantly in our own sense of loss and pain we romanticize the past and we hero worship the person who died.
It's just part of the process, I don't take it personal knowing what I remember of the same person who had faults and insecurities when alive were real and taught me something too, AND just like me they were never perfect.
The joy of focusing on the good things in a person we loved is a comfort for us, when that person is no longer with us we cling to what we can in trying to heal from such raw pain.
Like when my mother had her stroke I saw this happen to my own siblings, That sudden passion of sharing to the hospital nurses that she was some kind of superhero mother!
So I stayed quiet listening in awe of that fear in all of us as it sends us out shooting for a higher calling of who we wanted her to be.
We all change and struggle in our own ways when handling death.
Life will never stand still long enough to be so perfect as it is in our own mind's eye.
While the kids all grow up the elderly grow down we make our peace and our way through it in best way we can.
I have learned that not being afraid of the whole system is a helpful step in facing it. Accepting that we don't have all the answers and we never really know the person completely even after they die.
Also there is no perfect human on this earth, no super hero and no magical saint. (I wonder why we keep trying to find such a human being like that)
In death we can share our best memories and our admiration for that being laid to rest, the comfort in such helpless sad events like that come from your own mind and heart. It's never up to those around you to say the right thing or to "fix it" back to the way it use to be.
From every death we face, we change individually, we are getting ready for our own day of being laid to rest.....it's all a journey for our soul, being kind to those who cry is very very important and not always easy for some people I have noticed in my own personal experiences. Let Bravery replace the fear, and let LOVE win over your heart in such a time as grief!
Grandma Beth has grown into a ghostly being and one day she will find her forever rest but I can't help to be reflective and so grateful that she and I went to the ballet a few years back.
For Her love for her big family, her joy in bringing everyone together over the years always impressed me that she was a sweet Grandma!
I use to sit back at one of her family dinners and think to myself about how nice it is to say out loud "Thanks, Grandma!"
Because being a family doesn't last, and a finding a nice kind person like Grandma Beth is also rare, Yes, I am grateful I got to know her.
The evening was coming on as I helped Grandma Beth to her chair in her new nursing home room, my husband had made her so mad for some reason as I cheerful distracted her with a big smile "It has been such a lovely day, hasn't it?" She changed instantly "Oh yes, yes, lovely.....truly lovely....Is this a card?" I smiled and bent down to my knees to lean into her lap and look up at her as she sat comfortably and safely. "I made that for you Grandma. I just love you so much!" She burst forth a big sweet smile repeating "I love you." as if it should mean something to her, I repeated "Yup, I love you, I love you, I love you." Grandma flip over the card reading "Grandma Beth." I smiled waiting as she exclaimed "Well now! this is for an old lady, that Grandma Beth is an old old woman, she is just so old! Grandma Beth needs this card, the deary...." I repeated while giggling "I love you. I love you" She smiled proudly "I love you. I love you." and I nodded wisely as I left wondering if I had the strength to ever visit her again?
Sadness is apart of the great strength that makes happiness grow stronger, Sadness makes happiness even more important!
and LOVE will always live on!