Sunday, April 5, 2009

Memoir Monday~Grandmothers~

Everyday I am blessed to watch my mother as she takes care of my girls while I work. I am always in awe at her patience and I hope that they love their Nana as much as I loved my Granny.

One of the hardest things for me as a teenager was visiting my Grandmother in the nursing home while she suffered through the stages of Alzheimer's. The medical world is still looking for cures, but this was even before they had support groups and medications to help patients. They knew so little about this disease in the early nineties.

I dreaded walking into the home. The acrid smells. The moans of the patients. The little old lady who wheeled herself down the hallway as she cursed at those that passed. I couldn't understand how God could let this happen to people. How do you end up here? But, usually once we arrived into Granny's room she would be there. Her face would light up as we walked in to visit with her. I don't remember where my Mom was this day. I know she was there. Perhaps she was at the nursing station. My aunt and I walked in and she gave Grandma a kiss and asked how she was doing. I went to her bed to give her a hug and she jerked away. "Who are you?" She almost growled it to me.

"It's Lynnelle, your granddaugher," my aunt replied.

"No it's not. I want HER to get out!" My grandmother yelled.

I quickly left the room sobbing. It was so hard at 14 to understand what I know now as an adult. Even though she was not in her right mind and did not mean to hurt me it did hurt.

Now of course, I too have regrets. Regret that my stubbornness at 14 kept me from visiting as often as I should have. Regret that she didn't know her granddaughters on earth. Regret that she didn't watch me grow.

Grandmothers are special. I hope my girls treasure theirs.


  1. This was a hard piece to write and share, I'm sure, but it's good that you have processed the experience for us. Great that your kids have a great connection with your mom,

  2. I can't imagine how that moment must have hurt, Lynelle. Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. This was a great post, and I know what you mean about that disconnect between what you wish that you could have done, and what it was you were able to do. I think the 14 year old you was pretty normal--after all you left to make your grandmother feel more comfortable, even though it was painful.

    I'm a grandmother now, and I think I've inherited my mother's wish to be known in my grandchildren's lives. It's easy with some families, and hard with others. Your girls (and you!) are lucky to have your mom.