thanks for the memory

9 Jun

My grandma moved in with my family over a year ago.  At the time that she moved in, I was living at home. We would watch old movies together for hours, and I found the time I spent with her to be a sort of refuge from the daily stresses of life.

She knew me back then.

My Grandma, along with 1 in 6 women in America, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

5.3 million people in the United States have dementia, and  there are 10.9 million unpaid caregivers for people afflicted with this disease. Another surprising fact – it is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., and that number is on the rise, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

It is so strange to go home for a visit, and know that when I go into her room and hug my grandma, I have to explain who I am first. She goes along with it, and appears excited to see me. But I know, all too soon those days will be gone as well, and when I go in to see her, there will be no recollection at all. I cherish those days we spent together over a year ago, and I learned a strong lesson about valuing the time you have with someone. Someday the one you love may be gone.

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9 Responses to “thanks for the memory”

  1. carlajhart June 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    This is so powerful! Your story makes me want to become an advocate of Alzhiemers. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m glad that you had that precious time together.

  2. kaimeec June 11, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your personal story of your grandmother! I can just see how important this topic of aging health for women is for you!

  3. emilyr1369 June 12, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for being willing to share your own personal story with us. That is very brave of you.

  4. remmikkn June 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    My grandma is suffering from Alzheimer’s as well and is at the end stages where she has no clue who any of her family is anymore. It’s sad to see them go through this when you know they were once so lively and passionate about life. It’s comforting to know, however, that one day their memory will be restored, and we will be able to interact with them like we did as before :)

  5. natalier31 June 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I think it is so great that your grandma lives with your family. I have had the privilege of having my grandparents live downstairs most of my life. I will forever love the experiences I have shared with them as I imagine you will with the ones you’ve shared with your grandma.

  6. brittanyannb June 14, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    When my great-grandpa was in his last years of life he didn’t know us anymore. Whenever we would go to visit him we would introduce ourselves but he couldn’t remember us and he was never sure what to say so he would ask us if we had heard of Nephi! His nurses informed us that whenever he wasn’t sure who someone was or why he was talking to them he would talk to them about the church. Although it made me sad sometimes that he couldn’t remember me, I loved it when he would try to teach me about the church because that part of him was never lost, he’s truly the type of guy that would be a missionary till the end!

  7. laurena430 June 14, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    My Grandma had a stroke when I was 12, it was not quite as extreme as alzheimers is but it still is very hard to see a significant change in your grandparents. You physically see the same person but their countenance is different as well as there personality. These sicknesses are so sad.

  8. sdcali June 14, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    My grandmother passed away a year ago next month. She too suffered from Alzheimer. It is so difficult to watch them change. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences.

  9. michellesmith3 June 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    What a difficult disease to deal with! I’m so grateful for research and how technology is always developing and improving, we can learn more about these types of illnesses and find more and more ways to prevent it, rather than treat it when it comes.

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