I wish you all could have known my Grandma Ruby in her prime.
Simply put, she was a force to be reckoned with. Fiercely independent. Hard-working. Always giving an opinion (about the farm, the flower, life), whether it was asked for or not. An amazing cook. A giver of gifts big and small. In the two decades after my grandfather’s death (he passed away before I was born), she painted, sewed, ushered her children off into their own lives, cooked, helped out at church and VBS, traveled, and read. When I think about my grandma, I think about her eyes crinkled in a smile and remember the way she used to call me Mandy Jane, though it wasn’t my name. She used to take your hand in hers and cover it with her other hand and pat your hand. It just made you feel good. Loved.
My grandma wasn’t a woman who said I love you a lot, but she loved me and I love her.
And I miss her. Because today, she’s in a nursing home and the dementia or Alzheimer’s or whatever it is, has largely robbed us of that woman she used to be. She’s tired; she’s sad; she’s a shell of the person she used to be. The Grandma I know is largely gone, and it’s truly hard to see her that way.
Truth be told, I’m just really, deeply sad right now. I’m sad that she has to go through this. I’m sad that these last years have been so hard. I’m sad that she doesn’t know my face. I’m sad that after her fall last week (which resulted in 16 stitches) that one of my responses, practical and true as it may be, was “this is the way it’s going to be from now on.”
I love my grandma, and I always will, but I have to admit that it’s a weird, tough reality to miss and mourn someone who is still living. Because I’m grieving for my grandma. I miss her deeply and wish that I could see that old spark in her eyes one last time. It’s hard to watch someone who had been so vibrantly alive fade into the shell that dementia/Alzheimer’s can create.
I love my grandma, and I always will. But today, I’ve just overcome with a deep sadness because I miss her so much.
So, if you will, join me in praying for her this week. Pray for her to have comfort and peace that only God can give. And pray for my family, because more tough decisions about her care are likely on the horizon. We were never promised that this life would be easy; but we will never walk through it alone. That’s the promise I’m holding to.