Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ninety-nine

You turned 99 today; a milestone of monumental proportion. We thought you wouldn't understand or remember, but when your daughter showed up bearing joy and birthday greetings, you spoke up loud and clear, "My birthday is in October". And you were right. You are so full of surprises, riding a roller coaster of oblivion, despair, recognition and momentary clarity. Much of your time is spent inward in a world of your own design.

You are loved, and tenderly attended to by your devoted daughter. You know you have a daughter Shirley, even though you are unable to attach that knowledge to her face. She squeezes you tightly and tells you that she loves you. You whisper "I love you too". You sit slightly slouched, eyes tightly closed until she coaxes you back. You don't see the tears escaping, rolling down her cheeks. She is quick to erase their traces; fighting to keep the mood light and happy, to create a world to keep your interest.

But you are disappearing swiftly Nana. The spots of joy are fewer and farther between. Life is not offering you the comfort you need, and the disease is stealing more of you each day. It's painful for your loved ones  to witness your decline, to release that over which we have no control.

But today is your birthday, and you had cake. And for a few moments,  there was sweetness in your world. You didn't need words, you could taste it. You didn't need to know her name, you felt her. And at ninety-nine years of age, sweetness and love may be all we can give you.

Happy birthday Nana.




1 comment:

  1. can i say i hate HATE alzheimers? i do.

    happy birthday nana.

    ReplyDelete

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