My heart is aching these past few weeks for my Grandmother.  Her health has progressively gotten worse these past three or four years and recently the family decided she needed constant care.  She has already been in a retirement center with her own two bedroom apartment and some help as she would need it.  But now she's been moved to the other side of the building where she only has a bedroom of her own and a community living area, eating area and such.

She has had a number of falls that have lead her to this state of being.  It has left her with basically no speech, so communicating with her has been a challenge for some time but progressively getting worse.

I had the opportunity to go and visit with her a few weekends ago and it was wonderful.  We didn't say much to each other, but we could feel our thoughts through our eye contact.  I know she can still understand things and her mind is seemingly still there, but she simply can't talk at all, and you can see the frustration in her eyes.

I told her about all the things going on in our life and I had Max with me so she could see her great grandchild crawling around her.  I held her hand for a moment and even rubbed some lotion on her arms.  This was just about the only service I could offer her.  I felt so heart broken for her and her living conditions.  I even got a little teary eyed as we sat there looking into one another's eyes.  I felt her thoughts rushing through me and knew she was proud of the legacy she would leave behind.  I felt her wanting to be reunited with her husband and her two sons, wanting to not live in her situation anymore, but not being able to do anything about it.  I knew she was frustrated at not being able to communicate with me or anyone for that matter.  She just sat there with this blank stare, knowing that she was unable to express her true feelings on any subject.

She has lived a beautiful life full of travel, family, service, music, love, laughter and even a little Broadway.  She was always in great shape, doing yoga and exercise daily.  She was able to live a very comfortable life of weekly massages, hair appointments, manicures, fine dinning and occasional shopping, I'm sure.  She was certainly blessed in this way.

She is one amazing woman who has made everything she encounters a little bit prettier.  Her home was always in style, she was always dressed to the nine's and doing something amazing with her musical talents.

I have been so blessed to have been a part of her life and pray that she lives her last days in peace and comfort.  I love you Gigi and pray for your comfort every night.  Thank you for all you have given me throughout my life.


Lissa said...

What a blessing that visit must have been for all 3 of you! I'm sure this post will be a great memory for you and your kids to cherish. I am in love with this picture and the emotion behind it. It makes me want to hold my Nanny's hand.

Ashley said...

Love this, Cami. We have been so blessed to be a part of the Peterson family. Thank you for going to visit Gigi. I wish I could be there to hold her hand or sing her a song. Go often, because...well, just because.
Love you!

Emily said...

You made me cry such happy tears. I love this Peterson family so much. I just wish there was more we could do for Gigi. Bill and I have talked about Grandma so much and it seems to us that she is holding out for something else before she leaves this world. I pry for her spirit everyday in hopes she can make a happy return to her sweatheart. I love you Cami!

tiffanytijerina said...

I have to admit, I can relate to this post on so many levels, and it made me a little teary. I, too, have such a special relationship to my father's mother and her health is in decline. The other day, I shared with my dad that 10 years ago, this particular state that she is in was unfathomable to me. She was in great health, lived a hearty, active life and to see this evolution, if you will, is sad to me. But you're right, these women have lived such meaningful lives and this is just part of it. And, I have to be grateful that I have had her as long as I have.