This Christmas I spent part of the day with my parents and family and my grandma. I was quick to see that she had changed much in the two years since I had seen her and the saddest part was that she doesn't know my name. I should not have been surprised, we were warned that her Alzheimer's was getting worse. I suppose I was just not expecting that she would not remember me even a little bit. It was hard to see how she was easily confused by what was going on and that she could not remember from one minute to the next that it was Christmas and that was why people had given her gifts. She tired quickly and wanted to go home to her nursing home where she could rest in quiet.
We knew as we left Canada three and a half years ago that one day we would be faced with the fact that our Grandmothers would be getting older, changing and and possibly would not be here when we returned. Though my grandma is physically here, she is not fully here and that is a little hard. I have many fond memories of playing with her at her house during the countless sleepovers I had as a child. Taking everything out of her cupboards and turning her living room into a little market, playing beauty parlor, playing her organ or guitar and many other games.
Our girls will have different experiences with their grandparents as they live 6000 km apart and their time with them is crammed into 2 or 3 month periods every few years. I know that their time can be equally as special and maybe even more so as they realize that it is not possible to spend time together regularly. I hope that they will enjoy their time together and build great memories like I have of my grandma to last a lifetime.