Sunday, August 31, 2008

the long weekend

My grandmother's mind is going. It has been for a while, so last weekend, when her right hip went too, the news brought a combination of concern and relief. Concern for the obvious reasons, but relief because this is finally the thing that's going to bring about the changes that we've all been dancing around for a few years- specifically, that it's probably time for Grandma to move out of the farmhouse and to stop driving herself all over Aurora County to outdoor auctions with uneven grounds on which she might fall and break her hip. So.

Our little clan is gathered in Sioux Falls this weekend to visit her in her temporary nursing home- temporary because as soon as the hip is better we hope to move her to an assisted living facility, which I am assured is much nicer than the nursing home, which is good because oh my god the nursing home is not all that nice.

She's having a hard time remembering what's going on, where she is and why. My mom brought her a bright pink post-it pad to write notes on, such as, "Pat and kids are coming for lunch at 11:30 tomorrow," or, "Staff will pick you up for church service at 10:00," or- and this is the one that perfectly encapsulates her sense of humor, practicality, and self-awareness, despite everything- "Don't go running away."

She can still do a crossword puzzle like nobody's business, and today when my dad asked her a question that had stumped the contestants on Jeopardy (this is the profession named in the first line of the 23rd Psalm), she answered without batting an eye (shepherd). So I guess some things don't get erased. I am told that my great-grandmother spent her last months in bed staring blindly at the ceiling, reciting text from newspapers that she'd read decades before. Word for word. It seems this fun runs in the family.

I am starting on a gingko supplement when I get home.

More to come on all of this, including the as yet unscheduled world's shittiest trip to Grandma's house, the trip in which we clean it out and try to determine what to do with a lifetime's accumulation of pie birds and pretty serving dishes.

In other cheerful news, a rather significant hurricane is headed for New Orleans, and my favorite Times-Pic reporter seems to think it best that he ignore evacuation orders and stay to cover the story. Pulitzer-chasing jackass.

Everything's coming up roses.

1 comment:

willikat said...

:( Both my grandparents had Alzheimer's (not that your grandma does) so I can relate to the dementia issues. It's hell, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with it.