Some of my last moments in Ohio, were not what I would say I want to remember. While on the other part of those moments are ones that I want to treasure.
I made it through the entire month in Ohio… with my grand father…. maybe not completely knowing who I am. I am ok with that… because of his Dementia, you have to take the good moments in the midst of mostly bad days. And while I was there my grand father was kind to me. When I first arrived he knew who I was (to a degree) he didn’t know how old I was, he asked me my age, and said “you’ve really grown up” ( I have now been living away from home for almost 17 years) a few moments later as I stood to go in the kitchen he said to my grand mother “how many children do they have now?”. These are the things that make me smile…. because he was so good to my children. All through my childhood, I would not say that I agreed with how their beliefs are, but I will say that he was a good grand father. He was not the kind that sat in the chair staring at what was going on… he was always ground level… what I mean by this is…. he would irrate the crap out of you. He would rub his scruffy unshaven face on you till you would just scream or cry.. whatever would come first. He would grab you and tackle you to the ground just to torchure you (not in a mean way, but to play) this was his way of play. And my grandmother would always be sitting back and say “Now Robert Lee, leave those babies alone”. We would get up and smile at him… kind of like a “ha ha you got in trouble” and he would look at you like “wait till she is in the other room and I will get you again”.
These days are obviously gone, the man is 85 years old and has dementia so bad that I think we should just fully say that it is in total deep Alzheimers. There were many days we would get to the house and he would be staring out the window, looking at nothing, just numb. Mom would say something to him and he would just keeping looking out the window. Then, my girls would walk in to the room and start playing. Shyla so loved Papa when we lived there for those months in 2009. She was a total Papa’s girl. Shyla would walk over and say “Hi Papa” he would turn and smile at her, and then taking his hand in a grabbing motion like his hands were going to eat her. She would laugh and scream…and these are some of MY LAST MOMENTS IN OHIO, that I will cherish.
My grand mother is not really of the…heartfelt kind. In 2009 when I was home, my grandmother came to my to say “I am sorry” there were some issues with my grandfather the first night that I got there, about my dogs. I had never heard any… of my mom’s side of the family. EVER be sorry for anything…. Then this trip… my grand mother, told me that she was sorry for how Papa was acting. I said that I understood and to not fret, it is just a disease that none of us could control.
I have seen a side of my grandmother for the first time in my life that was soft, delicate, loving, heartfelt and patient. She was by his side every moment. Don’t get me wrong there was many times I thought to myself “woman why don’t you just leave him alone give him some space” then upon watching and opening my ears… I saw the other side, her side. He goes to bed a lot, I am sure do to pure boredom and depression. However because of the dementia when he would wake, and she was not within a breaths reach. He would panic, full blown melt down. He would cry, freak out, his body would ache and then it would all roll down hill from there… All because he opened his eyes and she was not there. It would start him in a fuss. And then she would cry or my mom would sob. My grand mother came to me and said “Angie I just don’t know what to do, he doesn’t know what he is saying, I’ve tried, but I just can’t imagine what he must be going through with his mind being gone.”
At this point I should say again that my grandmother has Dementia, she was diagnosed last year, but does not know it. She is still in early signs of it. However when I left these are the moments walking out of the house for the last time…
I went to say bye to Papa and he told me “I know what you did and I will tell everyone. I will tell them you don’t have a home to go to, that you are filthy dirty, disgusting people.” I said “Papa I just wanted to say bye and that I love you and will miss you.” I did not argue with him, because I knew it was not my Papa that was speaking to me, it was the disease. We did get him to say bye to Shyla, because she ran to my defense when he was yelling at me… she said “Papa, don’t talk to my mommy like that” Can you imagine your 3 year old yelling at an 85 year old man like that. I tried pulling her back but she kept saying it over and over. He did not see her, he was to focused on me. So we got his attention and he did say bye and smiled at her giving her that grab of the hand to play…. after that moment he turned right back at me, to continue with how disgusting I am.
I walked out of the room, finally releasing a tear or two, and saw my mom sitting on the chair holding Schyler, just rocking and crying. I could not let her see me cry, not because I needed to be strong, but because she needed to be reminded this was the disease talking Not her Dad. I told her that it was ok, and she said that it wasn’t. I told her I would take all of the good moments for the month, for me to only have this one episode was a blessing!
At this time my grandmother walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. I went to say goodbye, and she cried. I told her that I would come back to help all she had to do was call. She said “it’s not your responsibilty,you shouldn’t have to” then continued with “People just don’t understand this disease, and don’t know what to say” I told her that I did understand and that I loved her. She said “I love you Angie” this is something that I don’t think has ever come out of her mouth. Then when Shyla hugged her and said “I love you mama” she held her tight and said “I love you too, Shyla” These again are part of My Last moments in Ohio that I will never forget.
As much as it hurts me, that I had to leave Ohio, to never see my grandfather again, to where we will be able to sit and talk about our lives and memories. I have now been given some very special moments of him with my children, and also some very special memories of words from my Mama. Would I change any of it???? If it meant that I would never hear my grandmother tell me or my children that she loved us…NO… I would never change any of it…
So these are my very last moments in Ohio this last trip… so now that I am done writing this… I will go and dry my face~~I am not sad by this post… I am just stamped with some very special memories~