It happens. We all grow up and we all grow old. We all learn, develop and journey through our lives. We live for the moment, setting plans and goals for the future. We map out what our lives will look like, who we want to spend them with, how many children we will have. We raise our children to be responsible adults, to have our grand babies and to love us as we age.
Never as we age, never as we live in our moments, never do we ever believe there will be a day when we cannot remember our lives. Never do we think we may forget the people we love most. Never do we think we won’t remember our granddaughter’s daughter, our grandson’s wedding, our own house or if we ate lunch. Never do we ever believe we won’t recognize a face, a family member or a friend. Never do we ever think we will outlive our memory.
My Mana is a healthy 92. He heart and her soul are in full tact. Her cholesterol, blood pressure and thyroid are monitored. Her memory, it has left her. It feels like I live a million miles away and the day to day is unknown to me. I struggle to share her personality and her struggles as I know not what they are. All I know is my Mana is no longer my Mana. She is now battling Alzheimer’s and living a shell of the life she once knew. My Mana who learned how to swim in her 60′ and 70’s, who would make me peanut butter toast, who would play “tonk” and “oh shit”, who made sure during my summer visits I made it to Mackinac Island, who fostered my love of stamps and bought me my American Girl Molly doll, that Mana is no longer with us. The lady who would watch us for weeks during the summer, who would get mad when we swam to the second sand bar in Lake Huron, who would take us to Jim’s for ice cream on summer nights and Big Boy for the salad bar and blue cheese dressing, the lady who took us to Frankenmuth and allowed me to order grilled cheese in the most famous chicken restaurant in town, that lady, that lady has gone. The shell of that spry, wise, spontaneous and funny lady is all that is left.
My Aunt Lucia has lovingly taken care of my Mana for the past 5 years, sharing a home, slowly learning of her illness, managing her money, medication and meals, taking her to doctors and keeping her home safe and loving. There have been wonderful days and difficult days. It’s time, it is time for my aunt to take a deep breath, it is time for my grandma to be taken care of by medical professionals, it is time for her safety and health to be monitored by someone regularly, who can manage her ever growing anger and her stubborn demeanor. It is time for my aunt to enjoy her friends, her life and her grand babies and great grand babies without concern or worry.
On October 1st my mother and my aunt will be moving my Mana to her new home. Please send all the loving prayers and all the positive juju you can to their heavy hearts and to my Mana. This new journey, this new lifestyle, this new normal is what is best for all. The love spread and the love shared will make all the difference in their transition.