Granny passed nine days before what would have been her 82nd birthday. The obituary stated that she "went to be with the Lord following a long illness." Like the typical obituary, all the pertinent information was listed such as her birth date, how long she and my grandfather were married (almost 64 years!), the family members who had passed before, and those of us who survived her.
What the obituary didn't say was that the long illness she had suffered from was Alzheimer's Disease. Nor did the obituary say that Alzheimer's took her away long before she drew her last breath that day in July.
I heard it once said that Alzheimer's is the unravelling of a life. I believe that is the truest description I've ever heard because I watched it happen to her. I watched my beloved Granny, who was once spunky, headstrong, vibrant, and fun, slowly turn into a quiet, frail, forgetful, shell of a woman who had know idea who I, or any else in the family was. She could no longer remember her love for Elvis or that Julio Iglesias made her swoon. She couldn't remember how much she loved walking on the beach in the morning light or all the family trips we took to Myrtle Beach. She couldn't remember the grape jelly or the wine she used to make from the grapes she grew in the backyard or how to make her fabulous mac-n-cheese. She could no longer remember the million little things that made her "Granny."
Alzheimer's is a cruel thief, a thief of time, of memories, of vibrancy, of laughter, and of life. I'm grateful that I had 32 years with my Granny and have many memories of her, memories of her laughing, memories of our adventures together. Although they have faded a little with time, they are still there, tucked away in a special place in my heart, and that's what matters. She may be gone from this world, but her spirit lives on in the family she left behind. Her spirit lives on in me. Alzheimer's could not steal that from us.
This is the seventh of twenty-six alphabetized blog entries that I am publishing this month as a part of the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge. Many bloggers who participate in this challenge, select a theme. My theme is - "Whatever I Think Of."
For more information on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, click here.