Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandmother

My grandmother has always had health problems. Various conditions since she was a child. As she grows older, the conditions multiply. My grandfather is in perfect health, with a sharp mind to boot. Other family members always talk about how his father had lived to 100, and we fully expect him to do the same.

...

My grandfather had died suddenly. My family and I head to NC for the funeral. When we get to the church my grandmother declares that she wants her grandson to be the one to escort her into the service. I am 17 or 18 and I of course agree. We slowly walk out to the pew at the front of the church and sit down. My grandfather's coffin is in front of us. She is sad, but has a certain degree of composure, and strength. Strength that I don't expect to see in that old woman.

...

It is her 90th birthday celebration. Alzheimer's has stripped her of many of her memories, and she seems...old. Deep wrinkles, clothing slightly eschew, smeared lipstick. I have to leave the room, as tears come into my eyes. I compose myself, and we have a wonderful dinner and birthday celebration with her. She tells us stories multiple times, she misidentifies people, but...she smiles, she makes jokes, and she talks about wanting to do this again when she turns 100. I hand my camera to another family member, and ask them to take a photo of my grandmother and me. I am proud of her.

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