March 2, 2011

Stuck on memory lane.....

The Girls are I are back from 2 weeks in Florida.  I haven't blogged since we left and didn't bring my camera with me on this trip.... I really do want to share stories from our flight, rave {again} about how much I love our CARES Harnesses {and go on for days about how you should NEVER fly with your child on your lap.... But I digress} Tell you about our adventures at the zoo, beach and of my baby brother's engagement and party. I even want to recount the horror of my poor step mother's severely dog bitten face. Yes, she sustained a nasty dog bit to the face! *shivers*........ But I am stuck,  on memory lane.

I say I'm stuck on memory lane because that is where I spent a good part of my trip. The reason the girls and I flew cross country this time was to see my grandmother. It's been a year since we've seen her and her Alzheimer's has progresses quite a bit in the past 12 months. Last year, while she didn't recognise me, "Shelbi" still existed in her mind. I was someone she could at the very least recall by name. This year.... I cease to exist at all in her mind.

It was bittersweet spending time with my grandfather looking at old photos, remembering my childhood and seeing my grandmother as a young mother and yes, a young grandmother.  The smell of her jewelry box when my grandfather opened it sent a flood of memories of her washing over me. It was like a time machine taking me back through my life, touching and  turning over different pieces in my hands that we so iconicly Gramma Dottie, and Gram O'Reily{my great-grandmother}....I struggled with all of that. It was so joyful to remember such great times and see things that reminded me of her and of my great-grandmother, but in the back of my mind was "Memory". I was sitting with my grandfather reveling in my memories and that is exactly what my poor grandmother no longer has.... memories.

I haven't decided quite how to process all of this yet. So I have sat here for days in front of a blank blog post trying to figure out what to say and eloquence fails me. I would love to wax poetic about my memories of my grandmother or how saddened I am by this loss.... But words fail me.  Glossing over this trip, and moving on with my life dosen't feel right either. My grandmother was in my life. She was there, she made an impression and she loved me and is loved in return. Maybe someday I can write my memories down.....



Rachael Schepemaker said...

so sweet that you were with her! it'a true act of love to be with someone when they can't or won't ever offer anything back. i bet the girls brought a smile to her face.

Andrea said...

Alzheimer's is hard because it's so awful. But your grandmother's memories live on in you, just like your memories will live on in your girls. She is still loved and knows love even if the source of the love is no longer familiar.

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