It has been nearly a year since my grandmother, Minnie (Min) passed away from Alzheimer's disease. I miss her as much now as I did on the day she died, especially now that the one-year anniversary of her death is quickly approaching.
While it is good for her (she is no longer suffering, plus she is up in Heaven with her husband, Elmer, my grandpa, who died six years before Min did), it is horribly sad for us, her family here on aerth. We are again forced to remember how she was prior to getting sick and how quickly she went downhill until she was left a shell of her former self.
We also have to remember how hard it was to care for her and my folks making the painful decision to have Min placed into a nursing home because we couldn't cope anymore. We still feel guilt in having to make this decision, but the fact of the matter is this: mom and dad both had to work, and we couldn't really afford home nursing care. I also had the demands of school and playing sports.
Min would have been eighty years old this year. And she and Elmer would have celebrated their golden anniversary in October. Min's birthday would have been the 26th of May.
Min was a vibrant, important facet of our lives. She spoiled us kids (me, and my sisters Trude and Tamara, and my brother Randy) rotten, lavishing us with cash and gifts on our birthdays and holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas, and taking time to play with us. Min was a mean backgammon player; she loved games, but backgammon was her very favorite.
Min would babysit us whenever mom and dad went on one of their business trips; she was the best babysitter we ever had. She basically let us do whatever we wanted (within the family rules, of course).
Now Min is gone, and life for us isn't the same. Dad has been especially hit hard by Min's death; after all, Min was his mother. Mom has been feeling sad, too, especially since this is about the time when she finally succumbed to the Alzheimers's disease.
I don't know how we are going to make it through on May 26th, or in October, which was to be their anniversary. All we can do is pray and try to remember the good times and know that Min still lives on in our hearts and memories. That's about all we have.