Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nana

My grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's Disease.  It's a hard thing to see day by day.  I'm sure it's harder on my mother and her siblings. 

It's harder when the neighbors tell us to put her in a nursing home.  I've seen the elderly in the nursing homes here in Florida.  It's heartbreaking to see how lost they look as people they know nothing about wheel them back and forth from room to room.  

I watched as nursing staff gathered around to celebrate an elderly patient's birthday, with cake, party hats and balloons.  Everyone around her were wearing scrubs.  I didn't see anyone beside her that might have been family.  It was the saddest birthday face I had ever seen.

10/12/2013 (Saturday)- Happy Birthday, Nana

She asks me what today is, I tell her again while holding her wasted hand.

Today is Sunday, Nana.  Today is your birthday.

I fix the party hat on her head to sit jauntily as we wait for the cake.  She smiles, squeezing my hand affectionately as I pull her quilt higher to keep her warm.  She asks why I’m so nice to her and what my name is.

I thought myself numb but I feel my heart and world crumbling apart.

The tears stay inside as the pain fades away slowly,
Like sand blowing in the wind.

Happy Birthday…