My Grandma

My very important person in my life and always has been, my grandma. She is now (***) years old. Her hair is snowy-white, skin wrinkled and teeth all but gone. She is also quite deaf. She is so much healthy at this age. Otherwise, she is strong and active, often arguing with my mother over who should mop the floor. She has always just been there for me, and everyone else that is in our family. She wakes up early from her bed. She is also well-educated. She never sits idle.

The doctor said she has Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, she is senile. It is a sad fact but true. The one glaring symptom of her disease is that her memory is very bad. She cannot remember things or gets them all mixed up. So she forgets where she has kept things and often will frantically search for them. Then she forgets what she is searching for, which adds to her frustration. When she misplaces her spectacles, she will don someone else’s pair and happily go about the house. How she manages to see with the wrong spectacles baffles me. She helps my mother with her household work. She loves my father and mother very much. She has a lot of affection for me.

One of the most influential people in my life was my grandmother. My grandma has had a very difficult life and has left behind lots of things she held dear just to take her children forward. As much as she cannot remember recent things, she can recall her younger days vividly. She rattles off the names of people she knew then and get my name and other family members’ wrong. She cannot remember whether she just had dinner but can remember an event that happened fifty years ago. Sometimes she can be very difficult. Her being almost deaf does not help matters either. We have to speak loudly for her to hear.

Sometimes she says we are scolding her. We shout to say we are not scolding her, which makes things worse. We got her a hearing aid. She would not wear it. This fact surprises me the most because it takes lots of courage to forget the past and continue with life. When we have any difficulty, she always helps us. Our neighbors also love my grandmother very much.

In between bouts of crankiness, she sometimes seems normal. But this seems to get lesser as her disease progresses. So we do our best to keep her out of harm’s way. We lock the medicine cabinet and doors and hide dangerous things from her. It would be disastrous if she swallowed a bottle of pills or got lost while wandering in the streets. The latter has happened before. A kind neighbour brought her home. I learned through her experiences that sometimes it is better to continue on forward instead of trying to repair the past, which is impossible to change.