One of the worst sounds on earth is the ringing of a telephone. Each time it sounds your heart skips a beat, waiting to find out who’s calling and preparing yourself for the news they have to tell. When my mother told me that she was gone, it never hit me that she really was. I stood there dumbfounded leaning on the edge of the kitchen counter for support. My mother left me there to go to the nursing home, leaving me with the reminiscing thoughts that swirled through my head. The times we had shared together throughout my childhood; trips to the park, coloring, putting puzzles together and repeatedly acting out the scenes of Little Red Riding Hood, switching parts each time to carry the basket and skip through the forest, were now all just a distant memory.
My grandma was young at heart. She was sweet, loving, and caring, just the person who could make your day better by giving you a warm honey scented hug. She suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, though she still cared for others over herself. When my mother told me she was gone, it never hit me that she really was. She had been such a big part of my life that it didn’t seem something could disappear so fast. Together we would share diced apples and miniature Velveta cheese squares before we read a book and she settled me down for a nap, after a long morning of coloring and visits to the park. Losing her was like turning one of the colors to grey in the painting of my life.
The day she was buried the world around me reflected how I felt inside. It rained and the clouds were grey, no trace of blue in the sky, a color of my painting lost. The tree limbs sagged with their tears of rain and dripped down upon the earth like mine had fallen to my hands. When my mother told me she was gone, I didn’t want it to be true.
The Lord took her from me, and our family, I was angry, sad and distraught. I was selfish and wanted to keep her for myself. But as I looked deeper I could see that she was in pain. I could see in her eyes that she wanted to remember me, who I was to her, but no matter how much she had loved me in the past she couldn’t, as she was surrounded by the menacing diseases that weren’t only parasites to her body, but her mind as well. The more I remembered our times together as a toddler and young child, the more she forgot me, and soon didn’t even know who I was.
When my mother told me she was gone, I didn’t want to accept it, but I knew I had to. It was something that I couldn’t change. For I was on the outside looking in, I didn’t know the agony she suffered through every day that she had to live as her memory fogged over right before her eyes, as a finger tremble while reading the morning paper became a foot tapping to an endless beat. Even though I lost my grandma, she was relieved of the weights of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that were set upon her shoulders so many years ago. Even though she may not be here now, I know she’ll always be in my heart.
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