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My Grandmother Has Alzheimer's

me and my grandmother at my wedding, before the Alzhemimer's really kicked in

Alzheimer's.

I'd heard of it.
I knew it caused people to lose their memories.
I knew it was something people don't recover from.

I didn't know just how difficult it would be to watch it at work in someone I love so much. I didn't know that it moves so slowly, or that the person who is affected is aware that their world is disappearing before them. It's not just memories that get erased, but memory itself.

The day that the reality of it really hit home for me was the day my brother got married. My grandmother came to the wedding in a blue windbreaker and tennis shoes. She has always been the classiest of women. Hair. Jewelry. Nails. Make-up. Clothing. Shoes. Handbag. Always done. Always coordinating. To see her standing at the back of the church with an expression that a stranger might have mistaken for, "What? I thought we were going to a baseball game?" was heart breaking.

That was about a year and a half ago.

She's so much worse now.

Somedays she can't remember how to pour herself a glass of milk.
Somedays she can't find her bathroom or her kitchen.
Somedays she doesn't remember who we are.

And yet, she continues to inspire me. Everyday she meets life with the same sense of humor and light heartedness that she has always had. She really knows how to laugh at herself, and it's an invitation for us to laugh too, because if we couldn't laugh, than we would surely have to cry.

And sometimes we do that too.

Alzheimer's.

Such an ugly disease in such a beautiful woman.

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Heather is a wife, a daughter, and a soon to be mother. She likes to think of herself as A Goddess in Progress, which is where she normally shares the random details of her life.



 
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