“I came to visit, but you weren’t here. I’ll be back later, love George.” Instantly she remarks, “George who?” We all laugh with her.
George, 94-years-old, her husband of 74 years, came to visit while she was in physical therapy – the therapy she has refused to take for over 3 years. Today, she was off exercising with all the gusto she had. What changed Grandma’s mind? What made her wheel herself into the office 2 weeks ago and ask for therapy? Why does she now get out of bed, get dressed and sit patiently and wait in her wheelchair?
A vibrant little 6-year-old rushes in the door of Homestead Manor. She skips past a friendly old man, who says something in spanish, we don’t quite understand, she waves and keeps skipping. On she goes past another elderly woman, smiling at her, then the nurse who laughs with excitement to see the children. Skipping, skipping, she knows the way. She stops at a closed-door and says, “She better not be sleeping!”
“Hi Grandma!” yells Evie. Grandma starts asking for kisses from everyone, and she looks around. “Did I get them all?” She is well aware of her big family, she knows they are her grandchildren, sometimes. She knows they love her, all the time. She knows me, she calls me her sweetie. We love her back. Alzheimer’s doesn’t win all the time.
Evie starts in. “Want to go outside Grandma?” Grandma thinks and says, “Do you want to go outside?” “YES! says Evie. “Take off your brakes, I’m pushing you!” Grandma smiles.
Outside its balmy, the palms are wonderful to look at. All the children sit and stand around her, so her wheelchair doesn’t leave the mat. Yes, Grandma took off once into the bushes when we weren’t looking. At least it woke her up.
There is a spider in the bushes on a web. Evie says it’s a crab spider. “Do you see it Grandma?” She then runs to the bush that has big, long pinkish leaves. She grabs 4 of them, 2 for each hand. She jumps and runs and waves them at grandma. “Can you feel the wind Grandma?” “Yes, sweetie, I feel it.”
“She is full of life, isn’t she?” Yes, she is. She lets me hold her hand for a minute. “I like watching her.”
Grandma often asks how many children we have. She lines them up and counts them. Then she remembers that Jessica is having a baby. She remembers I get lost driving here and says I get lost easy. I agree.
It seems that love and watching life in the children helps her want to live. She wants to get up more now. The Lord is doing something. We are praying for her. There aren’t many years left. We reach for what Grandma can remember daily. We praise Him for the opportunity to love her and be here to pray for her. We ask that you pray for us too.
Today, I’ll bring Grandma coffee, and then I’m going to brave going into a little supermarket I spotted that might just have those peppers I need…
More from the Sunshine State soon…!