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.