Her People

I’m a foreigner, though, I call her grandma. I sit with her, feed her, hold her hand, calm her, take walks with her, and used to care for her. But, my face will never be familiar and though my presence may be enough, it will never fully be comforting. She wants you, her people. You,…

Selfish or Selfless: Caring for the Elderly

You know them and just maybe you think of them once in a while. They are alive, or one of them still is. They raised you until you were weaned, helped develop your character, encouraged, and supported you, until you left the house. Or just maybe they didn’t; they were heartless, life sucking, and you…

Half Awake

I lay here in my dark bedroom listening to the sound of water, when metal shower curtain hooks scrap across a metal shower bar pulling me straight out of my dream state. Immediately, all I could say out loud in a whiny voice was, “Nooohoho!” It’s 3am…dementia is awake. It has no concept of time,…

Becoming Someone Else: a fading memory

I wish sometimes I had a little camera on my glasses so I can visually show my parents the situation when I explain it to them later than 4:30am.  I faintly hear my voice in the dark surrounding my dream state. In a panic, I open my sleepy eyelids and wait for sound to break…

Where Does She Go?

I sit with my grandmother often, a ready hand when she’s in need. I am a safe place when she is lonely, a conversation techie when questions arise, a chef satisfying her taste buds, a hugger in confusion, and an encourager of her independence. At 99-years old, she’s lived longest in this home, raised a…

A Deeper Kind of Relief

Your voice is faint, calling me from the bathroom. I can only imagine what you want or need from the privacy of the throne. I open the door and peek my head in to find you straining to push out a poop baby from your anus. My rescue brain goes quick into action bringing you…

Numbered Days

Our days are numbered from the time we are conceived. At some point we all will be called to the feet of Jesus and judged by our works. We will be either placed in heaven or thrown in hell. I imagine you are still asking the same questions you peppered me with this morning. “Where…

Knowing You

Just a little taste of what I’ve been working on, inspired by the life of a caretaker. “I am tired. Fatigued. Emotionally I want to breakdown into deep heaves, gasping for air through salted tears. I want to release all that I’ve been hanging on to. But I don’t. The sun is shaded by the…

Adventures with Grandma

It’s with enthusiasm she scoots to the edge, her legs dangling inches from the pavement. She grabs her cane and prepares her frail bones to lift all four foot ten of herself out of the car; determined to stand on her own out in the wind and snow. She is driven and unprepared for what…

A Moment with Technology and One from The Greatest Generation

My 97 year-old grandmother reads the newspaper front to back and every piece of mail, catalog, and sales paper that comes to her door. She is quite the reader and one who is curious about today’s technology. As I sat in my room this afternoon, pounding away on my keyboard, my grandmother’s voice lingered down…

Letting go from 3,000 miles

Visiting you I see how the dementia feeds off of your brain daily, as though you are its meal. When you come back to me in unannounced moments, your eyes clear themselves from the muck and the most beautiful light blue pierces me. Your body has withered and its function is slowing, too fast for…

Bob, a Man of Character

I met an 84 year old gentleman this evening with the spirit of a 20 year old. He easily intrigued me with his smile. This is the start of our friendship. With wet noodle squirrel conversations whipping back and forth, repeatedly crossing paths with each other, Bob took me on a wild ride in the…