Thursday, December 10, 2015

Moments of the week: Florida and Alzheimers

Hello everyone! Are you still here? 'Cause I totally understand if you're not. It's been a few weeks. I don't even remember what my last post was. Hold on.

*goes back and rereads*

Okay. Wow, it's been longer than I thought. My bad. To say I've been extremely busy is an understatement. On top of NaNoWriMo (update on that to come), I had Thanksgiving traveling to two different states two weeks ago and a trip to Florida last weekend. Driving. Whee, 10-12 hours in a car. But I got to see old friends, make new ones, and have a fantastic time.

I also got to see my grandparents, which was difficult. My grandfather is 92 or 93 and in excellent health, but my grandmother... she's nearing 89 and has Alzheimers. Or something. Some kind of degenerative disease that's taken my grandmother away from me. They don't like doctors, so I don't think she has a diagnosis. All I know is that the woman I grew up with, the woman who loved nothing more than reminiscing, is mostly gone. She's still happy, still physically healthy, all giggles and smiles, but she didn't recognize me. It's the hardest thing in the world to sit down across from a woman who held you as a baby and have her say how nice it is to meet someone new.

But there's still something of her there. Grandpa and Dad insist that she's gone, but that's impossible. I know it's impossible, because while she babbled asking us if we were just looking in the neighborhood or were we moving in, when she said how nice it was to meet someone new, she hesitated. Like she knew something was wrong. She said we looked healthy, something she always worried about with me. And she kept saying how today was the best day in a long time. Maybe she says that every day, which would be nice. If every day can be the best day for her now. But I kind of hope it was because, somewhere, somehow, she knew her granddaughter had come to see her and was happy.

And then, just before we left, she looked at me. "I remember we used to play when you were little. Do you remember?" Then a smile. "Say hi to your mother for me." For just a moment, I think she remembered me. She knew who I was. She remembered me and Mom, her daughter-in-law. It was gone a moment later. Maybe it was just something in her mind running on autopilot because those were two things she always said to me, but that still means something in her mind recognized me. I broke down sobbing as we left the driveway. I hate goodbyes, but knowing that I will probably never see her again, that it's probably our last goodbye, it's the worst.

*honks nose*

Sorry. Emotions.


Other Moments in Florida:
The Altamonte Mall was busy, but we still made a stop by it. Lucky for me, because it was stuffed full of little moments.
  • A woman with a preteen daughter stepped onto an escalator going down. The girl hesitated, her face terrified, and stepped away while the woman went down. She noticed her daughter wasn't following after a few steps and turned to get back to her, but she couldn't climb against the stairs fast enough. Meanwhile, a woman perhaps in her late sixties came up behind the girl. She gave her a warm smile and said, "I'll go down with you, dear." she took the girl's hand and stepped onto the escalator with her. "Do you know how to get off when we get to the bottom?" the sixties woman asked. I couldn't hear the girl's answer, but when they reached the bottom, the girl was safely reunited with her mother, who thanked the stranger profusely.
  • A shaggy-haired man walking through Sears singing "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me." 
  • Outside of the Santa photography area, a mother looked down at her son in his stroller and said, "How come you ain't scared of the Easter Bunny but you're scared of Santa?"
I'll be back in a bit with a NaNoWriMo update! Only, you know, ten days late...

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