Carrie's Walk Donation Page
Tomorrow my nana will not remember anything of today, but just ask her about December 14, 1996 --the day I came into her life.
A little kid doesn't understand how someone could be in their life one day and gone the next. I grew up with Nana by my side, ready to laugh with me or wipe my tears. We spent countless afternoons after school singing, playing, and watching movies. I got so used to her being there, like a permanent fixture in my life, that when it came time for her to fall victim to the disease of Alzheimer's, I didn't know what to do or feel.
As a child I spent a great deal of time with my grandmother. She headed our parish's Thrift Shop and I'd go with her every day I could. One memory stands out to me from all my times down there--hanging in the women's section was this beautiful blue sparkly dress. It was sleek and made to fit a young lady reaching her teenage years. Quite frequently I'd pass that rack, eyeing that particular one, imagining the day I would wear it to my high school dance and wave to Nana as I walked out of the door, knowing how special the dress was to both of us. But it still drapes there on that rack, left and forgotten by all but one of us. I'd give anything to have her remember chuckling to herself as I drowned in the cloth of that dress standing in front of her desk.
When Nana's disease started to take even stronger grasp on her and the way she was, I struggled to accept what lie ahead. I would get angry then sad then angry again. And sometimes even annoyed at her helplessness and ignorance. Without realizing it, I was avoiding going to her house, the place I practically grew up in so I couldn't look reality in the face.
But one morning during my shift at Pool World, I received a text from my mom. It informed me of how Nana went to the hospital last night. It also said that I would be on my own for dinner--that simple statement brought me out of my trance of denial and avoidance. Something as major as getting a sick seventy-two year old woman tothe hospital in the dead of night next to something as simple as being alone for dinner flipped the switch inside me. I realized how selfish I had been. I had only focused on myself instead of thinking about what my family needed. I started visiting my grandparents more and showing my love for my family. Sometimes it takes an experience like this, full of hardship and fear to get on the right track of what to do to help the people you love. I don't like the idea of running out of time with my nana in my life, but I am going to make the momentsI have left with her count.
I always dreamed of Nana to be there waving goodbye to me as I drove off for college. Which she may be physically there, but after a few minutes it'll be gone from her forever. Once someone told me, "She may not remember all those happy times you've had together. But there is one thing you can do--be her memory." And that is what I am.
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