My Grandma Millie, my dad’s mother, celebrated her 93th birthday this past week. Fortunately my dad was able to fly to Illinois to share in the occasion with her. The last time I saw Grandma was when she came to our wedding. It was amazing that she came at all, so very very good to see her there. When she got back home, though, it was clear that it was the last long trip she’d ever make.
One thing that makes me very sad is that she’s never met Isabella or Sophia and I just don’t see how we’re going to get out to visit anytime soon. My fear is that I won’t see her again before she dies. She is a very old woman and is failing fast now.
This Friday she will finally have to move out of her house and into a nursing home. My aunts and uncles done everything they can to keep this day from happening; but it’s become clear she needs round the clock care. She’s lived in that house for about seventy years and even though my dad says things are really falling apart, she can’t see it as anything but the beautiful home where she and my Granddad Addison raised their seven children.
Grandma is suffering from dementia now, often has very little short term memory. She won’t remember who she was just talking to on the phone, wasn’t sure which of her sons one of my aunts was married to, etc. All of her friends are dead and gone. Her best friend right now is a retired parish priest who still lives in the area. But the one thing she clings to is her family: her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At my Aunt Mary’s wedding a few years ago I recall her looking around at her family gathered together, all her children and many of her grandchildren and even a couple of her great-grandchildren, and saying, “We started all this, Addison and I,” with such pride and accomplishment in her voice. Her family is what she lives for.
Anyway, she’ll be moving this Friday and I am sure it will be very traumatic for her. Please keep her in your prayers, that she will have peace and be able to cling to the Lord as so much is taken from her.
Grandma Millie in 2007 with a portrait my brother Tim drew after a photograph of her as a young woman.