Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's Grandma's Turn

We all die. We take turns. This time it's my grandma's. Today I'm visiting her like I did so many times growing up. Her house. Then her apartment. Now her continuing care home. She lives on the eighth floor. The dementia ward. I meet my mom in the lobby. I'm glad she is here. As lost as I feel, I cant imagine being here alone with just grandma. She doesn't really know who I am. I would've been visiting my past. At least with my mom here I can avoid my memories. Memories of who my grandma was. How every summer, my brother and I would go to her house in Allentown and do every fun thing. Eat candy. Buy things we didn't need. But, I'm glad I'm not thinking about those times. If I did, I might feel sad at the realization of the contrast between the lady in my memory and the frail, skeletal, pale shadow lying in the bed in front of me. She's falling asleep. It's time to go. I don't want to go. I don't want to stay. I want to hold her hand a second longer. The fool inside believes that if I hold her hand, there will be a reversal of the slow, vicious, steady decline of mind and body - and the will to live. It's time to go. We are walking out. Thru the halls, to the elevator. We have to weave left and right as we go to avoid bumping into the other grandmas and grandpas sitting in wheelchairs and rolling beds. I feel overwhelmed. As we wait for the elevator, I stand behind my mom and watch as she waves and smiles to the other residents and some of the nurses. I am five years old again. I'm glad my mom is here. We get in the elevator and start making small talk. It smells like piss. In the lobby again, I give my badge to the attendant at the desk. As we walk along the sidewalk to our cars, my mom says, "I guess I always just felt that my mom would be around". Then I realize - she feel the same as me. Lost. Sad. Five. I'm pretty sure I said, "Bye Grandma" for the last time in my life.


  1. Wow. That's heavy stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thinking of you Michael. It's always hard saying goodbye. I met you gramdma a few times, she was always so sweet. Praying for peace and comfort over you and your family.
    There's a big reunion being planned in Heaven for her..may you find comfort and joy in knowing, it's not's until we meet again.

  3. Thanks to both of you for your support.