Goodbye to my Grandmother.

She died today.

I am so very glad I went to visit her on Saturday. Alzheimer’s had waged its long, slow obliteration through her brain, leaving nothing but the basic components: breathing, and a desire to Keep The Conversation Going. Grandma was a Lady, and that’s what one does.

There was almost nothing left of the active, vibrant, mischievous woman I grew up with. She was dull-eyed and had a wracking cough, but didn’t have the strength to cough out beyond the top third of her lungs. She drifted in and out of sleep as I chatted with Janet, a woman who is kind of an honorary aunt to me. When my grandmother’s eyes were open, she would mumble a little, say a few intelligible words. Janet left and I stayed a while, holding my grandmother’s hand and thinking nothing in particular. I held the straw while she drank some Boost. She was thirsty. Afterwards, I mopped a little from around her mouth.

When it was time for me to go, I smoothed her hair and kissed her paper-thin, wrinkled temple. “I love you, Grandma.”

Just for a moment, it seemed like colour flooded back to her faded blue eyes, and I saw the love and happiness of a grandmother looking at her granddaughter, looking back at me. For one second, less than one second, she came back to see me.

And now she’s gone.

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