It's been 6 months since Chris' great grandmother, Grandma, passed away and nearly a year since she moved from our home to a nursing facility in Texas. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her. Just this morning I was baking cookies and put them in a container that was once hers. Our home is filled with her belongings. Her cookie jar, her sugar dish, the coffee cups she liked to use, her old sewing box. I enjoy seeing these items day to day and have those memories of her. While our time taking care of her was often difficult, I was blessed by her. I'm thankful to be able to remember the good times and the hard times have become distant memories.
We have an annual meeting this weekend. It was during this meeting last year that Chris and I strongly felt our time taking care of her was coming to an end. Her dementia had gotten to the point where she lived most of her days as a child waiting to go to school or waiting for her Daddy to come home. When she couldn't go to school or couldn't get up to go find her Daddy, she got very agitated and hard to control. She couldn't walk well and she wasn't sleeping well. During this meeting last year, she went 36 hours without sleeping, which only made her dementia and agitation worse. I was trying to keep a houseful of company, prepare food for church, enjoy the meeting, and take care of her. It was exhausting and extremely trying. (I was also pregnant, which we didn't know at the time, but certainly added to the exhaustion.) I spent most of the weekend in tears. Tears of frustration that she couldn't understand that she wasn't going to school, tears of anger at the disease of dementia, tears of selfishness that I couldn't enjoy the blessing of a church meeting, and tears of defeat in admitting that I could no longer care for Grandma. I'm not one to give up easily and I didn't want to throw in the towel just because I thought it was getting too difficult. Thankfully, the Lord's plans are far above ours and He blessed us with the perfect answer just a week later when we found out we were expecting.
I try to tell Evelyn about her great great grandmother and I look forward to many more years of being able to share stories with her. What I would give for just one picture of Evelyn and Grandma together. My hope is that Evelyn would grow up to know Grandma through our stories and she can feel as if she knew her in this world.