Some things are too personal to blog, and I guess that is the true moment in which they should be blogged. If I want to create some sort of on-line diary, I guess I have to write about the really painful stuff as well, even if it does and doesn't have to do with Jordan. By painful, I mean that raw, raking, rip your heart out of your chest shit that you try so hard to block out by throwing up a wall, but that always manages to remain.
Yes, talking about my grandmother here. I imagine I should jump and scream hallelujah that she recognized not only me but Jordan, (she asked about Sofia..."Where's the 'little girl?'" When I asked her if she remembered my husband's name, she replied, "Your first or second?" - only after I gave her the old, starts with an "L", did she remember) but the overall experience has been so horrifying and wrong. I come and go. I come...and go. She remains in that shithole of a place where she is so needy. It's no wonder she has dementia...sundown syndrome to be more exact, I would need to find any possible way to escape from her situation, she chose insanity.
At the beginning of our visits, I can see the old Gram, she looks at me with her Grammy eyes and we connect. The longer the visit, the more the pain clouds those eyes (although I should say "eye" because one is kind of shut - we told her we'd have to get her a pirate patch so she could really look fierce)and then her fears prohibit her from enjoying every single second of every counted minute I have to spend with her.
"Okay, sweetheart, what time are you coming tomorrow? You never stay long enough. You left yesterday without saying goodbye. I looked for you and you weren't there. Your mother only stays ten minutes and then leaves me here...alone. Jo, promise me you'll come tomorrow. Can't you sleep here with me?" And on and on and on. Torture. Guilt.
Try to give a rational response: "Gram, I know it sucks. I live too far away. I wish I could be here with you, you know I love you."
Words just never quite say enough...so you just have to go with the look in the eye and hope she understands, and I think she does...really. She said something so traumatic for me to hear, "I have nothing to look forward to. You're in town and now I can look forward to you coming to visit. But otherwise I have nothing to look forward to..."
FTS, shoot me before I ever finish in this condition. And people have issues with euthanasia? Screw them. My grandma is like obsessed with numbers, she repeats them constantly and always tells my mom she needs money to eat dinner or play bingo.
She doesn't need any money there, I'm convinced that she spent her entire life stressing over financial issues, mortgages, bills, keeping the books...because she was the one who took care of that stuff, not my grandfather. It is haunting her even in her state of dementia. She can't find peace and is only suffering.
I don't know. The entire thing is really bad, but we did share an interesting visit. Jordan and I cheered while Gram played balloon volleyball. The ironies of life. My grandmother used to come to all of my sports games, volleyball, basketball and softball and there I was cheering her on...in a nursing home...as she slammed a balloon down the throat of her opponent. Jordan got a kick out of it and laughed. When it was time to go and Gram asked for a kiss from Jordan, he miraculously gave her one. I've already said the nursing home is a rough place for him, he practically started hyperventilating when we got there yesterday morning, but recovered when he found out her tv got Cartoon Network.
The nursing home is no easy place to visit, the welcoming committee when you walk in the door just ain't a pretty sight, although there is one really hip chick of about 95 who has this pair of HUGE red vintage eyeglasses on like the smallest face I've ever seen, she kills me. Then, there is a sort of love affair going on between the Nursing Home Whore (age 85) and this old dude (about 87) who got pissed off when she woke him up from his day-long nap to offer him some ice-cream. She got offended yet remained beside him. My mom said that another patient's mom said that the dirty old man even tried to go up her skirt. Can you imagine that this shit still goes on at age 87? (Thank God)
Anyway, we left the building and I lost it. Jordan asked me why I was crying and I explained to him, maybe for the first time, how difficult it is living so far away from the people I have always loved (I know this is a bit dramatic, even for me, but we had a moment). He is fortunate to have an extraordinary relationship with both sets of grandparents, so he understands what that bond means. He gave me a hug and I told him how PROUD I was that he was growing into such a special person. Let me tell you, staying in that place and seeing your great grandmother in that condition, while your mother is obviously suffering is not an easy thing to do for my sensitive son. Not only that, but after eight years of never being affectionate with relatives and only offering his head to be kissed, giving my grandmother a kiss, was a true act of love towards my grandmother and me.
I honestly don't know how my mom does it day after day. I have to go now...back to the nursing home, and then we're leaving for New York. This is one of those bittersweet visits home.