The weekend was emotionally draining. I saw my Gran for the first time since she moved into her new home. I drove up on the Saturday, picked up my cousin and then went straight to see Gran. She held me so tight. Her hug and obvious pleasure at seeing me were almost too much to bear. It’s been too long (Ican’t visit her if I’m ill though, I have to remind myself the nurses wouldn’t appreciate me turning up with an illness).
We bundled her up in her wheelchair and trotted out to the local coffee shop. She loved it. But, it wasn’t long before I saw first had just how confused she is now.
She forgot my name.
Though she knew me, who I am and was clearly delighted to see me, in one moment she couldn’t remember my name. In the next moment, she said it several times.
She talked of how terrible it is to feel useless. She told me how she doesn’t remember one moment to the next, and can’t really string a series of thoughts together and how her brain failing her frustrates her. She can’t even concentrate to do her ‘puzzles’ any more.
During the course of this my darling Gran must have asked me a dozen times ‘When did you get here and when are you going home again’.
Over the weekend, I got to spend a bit of time with Gran. I got to see just how she’s deteriorated. I got to see her frustration at her lack of ability and lack of coherent thought.
But, on Sunday at the Christening, she had several lucid moments. She wrote in the Christening book for the Baby. It was lovely. It reduced me and my cousins C and J to tears – in an instant.
Saying goodbye to Gran was awful. My every instinct is to go and pick her up, take out of that place and bring her home to me. But, I know it’s not the best thing for her. She needs 24/7 care. I couldn’t cope on my own. So, while I was happy to see the nurses doing everything they should, an awfully large part of me felt guilty at leaving her there. Really guilty.
Today I hear that she’s been in bed all day. I feel guilty that perhaps we (though not just me) asked too much of her to go to both the Christening ceremony and then the lunch afterwards. I too feel I should be there to see her when wakes.