Another summer has come and gone.
Per usual, our summer in the OC was great… with a couple bumps in the road.
My Grandma dying two days before I was going to visit her… one of the bumps. I guess on the positive side… I didn’t have to fly in for the Memorial.
Memorials are bitter sweet right? They are great because it’s a purposeful time to reminisce at a “mini reunion”. But, it was a huge reminder that I will never see or speak to my Grandma again. That just feels weird. I mean… do you delete dead peoples numbers from your phone? Do you take their birthday off your calendar? What is the etiquette here?
My Grandma loved the Dodgers and she loved collecting dolls. She loved reading mystery novels and eating cookies. She loved men. She loved me.
However… her mind was starting to go and she told me during one visit, “I’m not your Grandma. Please call me Maxine.”
Of course, instead of doing what she asked, I would say, “Hey Grandma… oh… I mean, Maxine… ” Every.time. I feel like no matter what she said or how “out of it in her mind” she was… that deep down, she certainly remembered who I was, whether over the phone or in person. If you pretend the person with “dementia” is just messing with you… it’s easier. 🙂
Do you find that when you go visit bed ridden people… that it’s hard to know how long to stay? Is 10 minutes their limit? Do they want you to stay all day?
My Grandma told me to leave during my last visit with her. Obviously, overstaying my welcome, I did. (It was sort of a relief in a way. A bed ridden person who is losing her mind has little to say about their day. And, how many times can you answer the question, “Who are you? Where do you live?”)
I didn’t take these things personally. I had to respect the fact that when you are 95, what you say… goes.
So, the last time I saw my Grandma was last year… because she decided to die two days before this years visit. Her nephew told me it was best I remember her last year and not the last days. So, another positive I guess.
RIP Grandma… errrr, I mean… Maxine.