My Grandma

This is my Grandma.

She turned 86 on March 4th. She has dementia and is in the final stages. She has been on a journey to the end of her life for about 13 years, starting with a small mini stroke, then a series of mini strokes which affected the frontal lobe and damaged the memory parts of her brain resulting in a gradual decline in her short term and then long term memory. She doesn't remember me but sometimes I wonder if she does for split seconds. She is bed ridden now and it feels sad.

But, there are many blessings.

Grandma lived in Canada for all of my life. Even though we were miles apart, I had the best relationship with her thanks to many flights, phone calls and letters. In my heart I hold many awesome memories of our times together. I remember her fantastic sense of humour, the way her eye brows lift up when she is sharing a joke, her little chuckle and the wisest advise she gave me like "buy quality not quantity" when it comes to clothes, and "don't sweat the small stuff" for everything else in life. Never did I ever think we would be living in the same country. 2 years ago my Grandad died and it was decided that it would be best for Grandma if she moved back to New Zealand to be taken care of by her family. So I have had the blessing of being with her through the hardest, but most precious of times. I never thought I would have the priviledge of being around her for any part of her life.

Grandma came to my wedding, another blessing I thought would never happen. It was wonderful to have her sitting in the front row, witnessing my vows; her eldest grandchild.
This weekend Kev and I made the trip down to New Plymouth to see her after getting the call that she had rapidly deteriorated and probably wouldn't be much longer with us.
It has been a weekend of hugs, back scratches, neck rubs, head massages, hair brushing, kisses, hand holding, "I Love You"s and lots of just sitting and 'being'. Peaceful, and a priveledge.

It was hard to see her like this, but I'm glad I have. Even though she seemed to be a shell of her former self, sometimes she looked at me and raised her eyebrows, sometimes she took my hand and said something that seemed like she was emparting another piece of wisdom, sometimes she had a little chuckle with me and I caught a glimpse of the Grandma I know and love and I wouldn't have given up this time for the world. It was such a blessing.

4 Responses
  1. PaisleyJade Says:

    Beautiful - lovely that you have shared some time together. Grandparents are sooo precious!

  2. banban Says:

    Beautiful post Tania, brought tears to my eyes. xx

  3. Paul Vega (Uncle) Says:

    Kia Ora Tania

    Many thanks for these kind and loving words. They truly capture the essence of Mum's gentle spirit. Sadly Mum passed away early on Thursday morning. She was comfortable and at peace.

  4. Dana Says:

    Hi,that is sooo beautiful its so special to have such great memories.Dana xx (Glens daughter)