Saturday, July 24, 2010

Memories of Granny

Mama just started a blog about my Granny. You've heard me mention both of them before, particularly in my Recipe of the "Week" posts. Mama was also featured in a post about the Proverbs 31 woman, but I realized today that a post dedicated to my sweet Granny is way overdue.

My Granny is 89. She has dementia & lives with Mama & Dad. She forgets a lot of things, like where she left her purse (although I have that problem myself from time to time!) & that she's not allowed to go into the kitchen (although, sometimes I think she feigns forgetfulness just out of sheer stubbornness!). She makes a PB&J sandwich & then puts the knife back in the drawer. She can't remember whether she's washed her hair or not. She sometimes eats lunch twice because she doesn't remember having eaten it the first time.  She cries out of complete frustration because she knows something's wrong & she can't stop it. All of this is true of her, but this isn't what defines her. Let me tell you about my Granny.

Granny taught 2nd grade for over 20 years. She used to take Chris & me up to the school when we stayed with her. We got to play on the playground & in their blue-carpeted gym. (Uh-huh, you read that right.) She would take us to Claiborne's gas station for a BBQ sandwich & down to the snow cone stand on hot summer days. She lived in a little town where everyone knew everyone, & where I am related to probably half of the population. Her house was sort of in the country, or at least it felt like that because of the woods that were directly across the street on two sides. She & I would go for walks, me totally slathered in OFF & any other insect repellant you could think of, while she went completely unprotected. And who had mosquitoes & every other bug imaginable literally dive-bombing their head?! That's right - ME! True story!!

Granny is a wonderful grandmother. Chris & I used to love staying at her house. As a matter of fact, my fondest childhood memories come from those times. They're nothing fancy; just simple fun. Chris & me making "forts" out of pine straw in the backyard. Playing "Go Fish" on the living room floor. Coloring in the Christmas coloring books that she always had on hand for me. Running through the sprinklers while rainbow-water splashed down on us. Drinking her sweet iced tea. Taking a nap in her room & watching the curtains gently blowing in the wind. Remembering those times conjures up feelings of safety & contented coziness. They were the best.

Granny is a petite little lady, sweet as candy, with a laugh that is infectious. But don't let that fool you! Scotch-Irish blood is coursing through those veins, & she can be intimidating. I've only ever seen her angry once in my life, & I don't ever want to see that again! It's the short, sweet, quiet ones you have to watch out for, you know. Granny is the kind of person that everyone loves immediately. She just has that way about her. She's completely endearing & lovely.

She's come to stay with us a couple of times, & each time we made memories that I will always cherish. Again, simple things, like washing the dishes, reading Stepping Heavenward aloud, & playing in the snow. I always think of her when I hear Autumn in New England & when I lay in a quiet room listening to the hum of a ceiling fan & watching the curtains blow.

We never know how much time we have with those we love. I hope that I get to make many, many more memories with Granny. I would love nothing more than for her to be here to see our children. What I do know is that I am blessed with a wonderful grandmother who is affected - but not defined - by dementia. And she is loved.


Gail Griner Golden said...

What a lovely tribute to your Granny. She is a lovely lady and has left a loving legacy.

I found your blog through Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday. It's so funny - I wrote about my Granny, too. Hope you'll stop by & see me at Gail-Friends

Abby said...

OK, thanks for making me cry. My gpa also is in the midst of dimentia and watching my gma go through it is so heartbreaking but she is SO encouraging to watch. Thanks for sharing about your Granny! Hope you get to see her soon!