Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Granny

Ten years ago this summer, I lost my paternal grandmother.  Her name was Edna.  Some of my cousins called her Grandma and some called her Granny.  I called her Granny.

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.


  1. It is a cruel disease. It took my favorite aunt, so I know what you went through. That said, this is a lovely bitter-sweet post honoring your lovely Granny.

  2. All of the women on my mom's side of the family have "lost their minds" in old age. I don't know if they called it Alzheimer's or severe dementia. In any event, it looks the same as what you're describing with your Granny. They lose all of the things that made them who they were. The essence of themselves. My grandma (mom's mom) even lost her grasp of the English language. She spoke in gibberish for the last few years of her life. It was frustrating to her and us. She'd get very upset when no one understood what she was saying. The unraveling of a life. That sums it up very well. It's very hard to watch.

    Now, I'm going to change subjects on you and step by step you through adding the Google Friend Connect Button. Go to Layout. In your sidebar, click on Add A Gadget. A menu pops up on the left. You need to select More Gadgets. In the search bar at the top type in Google Friend Connect. That will give you three options. The most user-friendly option is the last one, which is called Members. Select that one. Then add it. You should now have the Google Friend Connect Button in your sidebar making it easier for more people to follow you:)

    1. In my grandmother's last year, she lost her ability to speak coherently, too. Thanks for commenting and for sharing how to install Google Friend Connect. I think I did it right.

  3. Alzheimer's is such a sad thing to see. You are totally right in that your Granny was gone long before she passed away, all the little things that made her her.

  4. Such a terrible thing to happen and a terrible thing to bear witness too. I'm glad you remember her spirit as she was and know that it lives on in you.

  5. Lovely post, and lovely picture of Granny. I've witnessed the disease as well. Such a painful way to see a loved one go. Blessings to your family on their memories of Granny.

  6. Hello from A to Z, Ericka. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing 10 years ago. I hope that you will continue to find comfort in the happier memories you have of her.

  7. Ericka, I've heard the same thing be said of this horrible memory snatcher. The only person I knew to have this disease was DH's grandfather who passed away almost 37 years ago. I pray my memory stays with me till the day I die. Aging plays some hard tricks on you, but losing one's memories is perhaps the cruelest of all to not only the victim, but his/her family.

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: GSMNP #AprilA2Z

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. Cherish the memories you have and make sure you document the new ones you make in your life; in case you need to recall them later. HUGS!

  9. I'm so glad you have those wonderful memories of your Granny!! She sounds like a wonderful woman. You are blessed to have had her in your life. Alzheimer's scares me. My neighbor is going through that with her husband and it is so very sad.

  10. I lost my mum's mother to Alzheimer's also, it was so hard on my mum and I know she fears it will happen to her. I am so sorry for what you all have been through. Our memories are so precious and I guess we alms take them for granted. It breaks my heart to think that someone can look at their own child and not even know them, or remember their own history. So sad. #mg

  11. Ericka, this post is so beautifully written. My Mother-in-law is now consumed by Alzheimer's and has slipped away from reality.


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