A Sweet Visit

My grandma B. is in a Memory Care section at a Care Center in the Twin Cities.  Each time I see her, she seems less and less “like herself.”  It is especially difficult for my dad and his brothers who look at her and see only remnants of the woman they know as “mom.”  Gone are the days of grandma excitedly describing her latest trip to the casino or enjoying her long daily walks.  Gone are the days of cousins, aunts and uncles playing a few rounds of cards with grandma while enjoying one of her delicious homemade pizzas.  Her demeanor is different, quieter.

It has been, and continues to be a difficult transition both for grandma as well as for her family.  My dad and his brothers have been struggling with “what to do” when they visit her as she absentmindedly wheels herself away from them.  She is no longer able to hold much of a conversation.  No repeating of funny stories, no more playful joking or play-by-play account of the latest Vikings game on TV.  My dad recently remarked that “in a way, mom has become the child, and I the parent.”  With that sad realization came a new way of understanding, though.

Dad had one of his best visits with grandma a couple weeks ago.  He wheeled her  around the center, stopping by a small table.  He grabbed a book off the table and did something simple.  Sweet.  Something that she had done for him many years ago.  He just sat beside her and read to her.  In that moment, all that existed was the precious relationship between a boy and his mother, and a mother and her son.

My dad still cherishes his memories of “the mom he once knew.”  He cherishes the moments he spends with her now, too.  Although they are different than they used to be, these moments are no less precious, no less profound.  To my dad she is still “mom” and always will be.

Grace and peace to all of you: Families that have loved ones in care centers.  May treasured moments happen for you there, no matter where they are in their journey.

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2 thoughts on “A Sweet Visit

  1. Jack Burgeson says:

    Valerie, You write so beautifully, very touching and to the heart of the matter. Your post brings back a lot of memories. Yes, it was a period that was very trying and difficult at times but my brothers and I do cherish the times we had to still be able to visit with mom. You have a unique talent to express your thoughts with words that can be a comfort and encouragement to others.
    Thank you. You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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