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Thursday, December 07, 2006


Yesterday, I was pretty upset after discovering news about my grandmother.

Since my mother passed aways almost 3 years ago, I've kept regular touch with my cousin Susan via email. However, since September, we've not had regular contact. She had to have surgery on her hands, due to carpel tunnel syndrome. She had one hand operated and recuperated for 3 weeks before she had surgery on the other hand. Now, she has to rest her hands for 3 months.

However, she just had to let me know about my grandma (her aunt). Before I start, the last thing I had heard about Grandma was that Dad and his older brother, flying in from Pittsburgh, would visit her on Thanksgiving. This was a couple of days before Turkey Day. Dad and I keep in touch like once every blue moon.

My grandmother has her own house. I'm not sure if she lives alone. Everytime, I'd go there, she always had some family staying with her in one of the bedrooms. However, from the stories I've gotten from relatives, it seems that she was living by herself this time.

According to Susan, Grandma has been slowing losing her mind. They're not sure if it's Alzheimer's or if it's stress-induced senility. My great-grandmother became partially senile during her last years. She pretty much recognized everyone. The only thing was that she always thought Grandma was her mother.

Grandma is another story. She has lost a few marbles. It got to the point where my Aunt Lucy moved her in with her so she could watch over her. Now, my aunt isn't exactly good health to be taking care of someone else. However, my aunt thought it was doable. Wrong! Grandma would try to strip off her clothes. She would try to escape from the house and wander off. These actions kept my aunt up 4 days straight.

My cousin drove down from Austin to help out my aunt. My aunt basically collapsed from exhaustion. Susan took care of Grandma. She said Grandma would curse her but then turn around and bless her repeatedly. She kept calling my cousin by another name. She would just babble on and on.

Afterwards, my aunt called a social worker about Grandma. After review, they decided it was best to put Grandma in a nursing home.

Susan said, my dad didn't show up to see her until after she was put in a nursing home.

Oh, I was livid! I heard nothing from Dad nor from Aunt Mary (Mom's baby sister).

So, I called up my aunt via Relay. I somewhat chewed her out for not keeping me updated. Her excuse was that she was too busy, due to the holidays. I'm sure she wasn't too busy to keep in touch with my other aunt in Chicago.

Anyways, she tells a different story. She said, according to Dad, that it was him and my uncle who found her at her home, naked, starving and talking to herself. She said it was them who put her in a nursing home. Apparently, my aunt doesn't know about my other aunt taking care of Grandma.

So, I'm getting 2 different stories. I was just really upset. After Kevin picked me up from work, I vented to him.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we can't blame each other. After all, Grandma was left alone. I'm sure everyone felt guilty, just like I did.

I could say that Mom would have never allowed this. Mom was always checking up on Grandma. She used to tell me that Grandma was getting older and that we'd have to prepare for the time when we'd have to have Grandma move in with us.

You see, Mom used to make me promise that if she got old, to never put her in a nursing home. My aunt, my grandma and Mom felt so bad when they had to put GrannyMa (my great-grandmother) in a nursing home. So, Mom always said that Grandma wouldn't be put in one. Well, Mom's gone. She was the glue that held us all together. After she died, we all kinda went our separate ways. However, I know that's not a good excuse. Mom's gone and we have to work together to keep the family together.

Yet, realistically, Grandma is better off at a nursing home. My aunt cannot take care of her. Her health isn't good. Dad has moved out of town and is dealing with his own issues. I'm way out here in the DC area.

Grandma is always kind. She may be weird but you know...she's my Grandma. Mom thought she was just absolutely hilarious. I love her. I may not always show it but I do. She was the one who used to sneak me out on rides with her. She'd teach me signs. She was a special ed teacher. I vividly remember my first sentences in signs: "I WANT HOTDOG. I WANT HAMBURGER."

Anyways, I told my aunt to get all the necessary information to I can keep in touch with Grandma. I'm gonna make an effort to keep regular contacts with her. She's my only living grandparent that I have now. So, I wanna make sure that she knows that I do love her and that she's in my heart and in my mind.

So, be sure you let your grandparents know that you love them and think of them.


Ugh! After I posted this, I called my aunt to get Grandma's new contact information. Just found out that Dad is moving her to another nursing home. Ugh! Wish he would communicate with me!