There are so many wonderful memories tucked in the corners of this house. Living in the house where my grandparents spent so many years has been such a blessing to me. When I open the linen closet in the bathroom I sometimes get a whiff of Grandma’s perfume and Grandpa’s Stetson. If company comes to the front door, I linger an extra minute in the entryway before opening the door so I can enjoy the familiar “Grandma and Grandpa’s house” smell. When the house is quiet at night, I sometimes hear my grandma’s sweet giggle coming through the walls. When I open the kitchen cupboards, if I close my eyes, I can still see my grandma’s brown cups and plates. I can even sometimes smell the grilled cheese she used to make me as a special treat. When the kids and I rush out the door to the car, I can look behind myself and see my grandpa slowly making his way down the sidewalk, not complaining about our hurried steps. When I pull away from the house I can see Grandpa and Grandma standing on the boulevard waving and blowing kisses….
Why does time have to go so fast? Why do people grow old? Why do Grandmas, who used to be whitty and fun, get Alzheimer’s? Why do Grandpas, who used to race you down the street, have to succumb to slow and painful steps? Why do Grandparents, who once took care of everyone else, lose their independence?
I have so many wonderful memories of my grandparents… I often try to reflect on the memories so they don’t fade away. I remember Grandpa helping me with my student council secretary campaign. He spent hours and hours making banners and pins, helping me write and rehearse my speech. I remember Grandma making cold hot dog lunches for Grandpa and me when we would take walking trips down to the Minnehaha Falls. I remember spending the night with them, and Grandpa “camping out” with me under a card table. I remember Grandma scolding me for not wearing socks or slippers, telling me I would catch pneumonia. I remember perming Grandma’s hair and playing games with her and Grandpa while the curls set. I remember the lazy days of summer, picking raspberries with Grandma and rollerskating between Grandpa and Grandma on our many walks. I remember Grandma blushing when Grandpa would grab her behind or make reference to how beautiful she was. I remember her washing my hair and giving me all sorts of funny sudsy dos. I remember Grandpa and Grandma walking to our house, excited to read our newpaper. I remember shopping for groceries with my mom and Grandma, listening quietly and looking so forward to being a grown up. I remember Grandma yelling at Grandpa for cheating because it seemed that he always won all of the many games we played together. I remember how beautiful Grandpa and Grandma looked at my wedding, the way that Grandma’s eyes still shone when she looked at Grandpa… I remember praying that Adrian and I would have that same love, so many years after our wedding date.
I remember the first time I noticed Grandpa struggle to get up from a chair. I remember the first time that I saw him waiver when he took a step. I remember the first time that Grandma looked at me, her eyes momentarily filled with confusion. I remember the fear in her eyes as she told me that she had Alzheimer’s. I remember seeing the pain in Grandpa’s eyes as he realized what Alzheimer’s would steal from, not only him but, his beautiful bride. I remember the first time that Grandma fell…the first time that Grandpa fell. I remember the moment that I realized that Grandpa and Grandma had changed…and would never again be the same. I remember seeing Grandma in her hospital bed, after her final fall in this house….she was so tiny and frail. I remember when the doctor said that Grandma would never go home. I remember visiting Grandma at the nursing home where so much of her dignity was stolen. I remember feeling helpless. I remember when Grandpa, too, was told that he shouldn’t go home after his own trip to the hospital. I remember the joy I felt when my sister, Jennie, and I found a place for Grandpa and Grandma to stay together. I remember moving them in together, the confusion in my Grandma’s eyes and the hurt in my Grandpa’s eyes. I remember when Grandpa had to make the difficult decision of not being in a room with Grandma anymore. I remember the sparkle in Grandma’s eyes whenever Grandpa walks into the room. I remember the time that Grandma recognized me and told me that she loved me. I remember the day that Auntie Chrissy and I sat with Grandpa and Grandma for hours, not wanting to ever leave, because we were getting a glimpse of days gone by. I remember when Grandma held my little Ayden, telling me how beautiful he was. I remember so much…………and I don’t want it to fade.
Psam 71:9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
In Him always, Beckie