Today, I was sitting at work, doing some random report and I reached for my water bottle, for some reason it jogged a memory of my Granny and I cried.
So Granny had dementia, and looking back, it was probably worse than any of us thought, but my mom was there taking care of her. Anyway, about 3 years ago I was up visiting and had brought my water bottle. While Mom and I were out, Granny thought it would be nice to disassemble my water bottle and give it a good washing (she also liked to clean the corners of the floors with Q-Tips; she was born to be a good little Babcia) and she lost my straw. It was one of those stupid built-in ones and at the time I was annoyed with her. As for Granny, she was so upset when she realized that she had thrown the straw away. It obviously wasn’t her fault, she was losing her memory, but being reminded of that made me so very sad. And more than a little angry. Not at my Granny, but at the fact that most of the recent memories I have of her are not really of her, they are what the dementia left after taking its toll.
The older memories of how my Granny was, aren’t nearly as clear and only a few really stand out; like the time she chased me around the back yard with a broom. I for the life of me can’t remember what I did, but she was trying to smack me with the straw end! Up until she forgot who I was, we would joke about that; her threatening to chase me down, me saying I would always be able to run faster. Or the time she, my cousins, and I sat around until 1 in the morning (which was a big freaking deal when I was a kid) playing Phase 10. Staying up late with her on Saturday nights to watch Hercules and Xena while she always told the protagonist to kick the bad guy “in the balls!” (May I add that was super strong language for my Granny). It’s not fair that I have so few memories of the woman who taught me how to cook, do laundry, clean, Polka dance; the woman I talked to when my Mom and I didn’t speak my first year of college, the woman who would used to put chairs around my bed so I wouldn’t fall on the floor (it may or may not have happened). She was amazing, and kind, and wonderful, and sassy, and I loved her so much. I thought I had done my grieving over the past few years, but I’m finding that I haven’t even started.