When I tell people I lost my Grandmother Elorna Scott in 2010 at the age of 94, the response always goes something like “You were blessed to have her for so long.” That is true in the scientific sense. But the truth is that my grandmother had been gone for more than a decade when she took her last breath.
By the time my grams was in her mid - 70s, her mind was already starting to fail. She asked the same questions over and over, and as time went on her recollection of events no longer existed. Since the doctors were unable to diagnose exactly what kind of dementia she suffered from, her children and grandchildren had no general timeline to predict her decline. She didn’t wander off and she never completely forgot her immediate family. But she was confused in large groups and had trouble keeping track of the names of what I suspect she considered the “extra characters” in her life, like our spouses and friends.
I'm so blessed to have captured so many memories with my granny. When my auntie and her full-time caregiver needed to run errands, she would bring my granny to my house and we would sit talking about things I had no clue of (mainly her childhood) but just being in her presence made all the sense in the world. Unfortunately, after a while, those conversations ended and we would just sit together watching television, holding hands or I would just sit watching her as we looked into space.
She knew my face and my name, and she knew that we had always been close, but I suspected that my grandmother no longer remembered what made us close, like my sister and I spending every weekend at her house, or me being one of her pre-approved chauffeurs (she never drove) She’d probably forgotten how she’d taught me how to cook, and the Saturday morning trips to Housewives market or the many lectures she gave me on being the best me. And didn’t seem to remember our love for thrift shopping, and how she’d insist I wear a long jean skirt and boots to every occasion. I can still hear her voice saying to me "When I am dead and gone, remember Momma said... "
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