Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I keep trying to put my night with my grandmother into words, but end up deleting it because I just cant describe it. Anything I write sounds so...not as monumental as it was to me. (plus most of it was feeling and not physical things that happened.) I still haven't come up with anything that makes any sense or does it any justice...but I want to document something.

My Grandmother has Alzheimer's. Generally we can talk about her (or anything) right beside her and she wont notice or understand. Her health is drastically diminished (in fact, it feels odd to use the word "health" when speaking of her condition).

Tonight, my grandmother knew who I was. I don't just mean that I'm Emily...but who I am

She was happy to see me.

I sat on the floor at the side of her chair with my arm in her lap. She kept rubbing my arm, from wrist to shoulder. She would pat and rub and squeeze. She would rub my back and (so slowly, because that's how she moves) bend down to kiss my forehead. She kept telling me how glad she was that she was there with me and getting to know me better. She kept thanking me for coming and having that time with her. She was asking me details about my life, wanting to know what was going on with me. At one point she had bent down to kiss me, and after kissing my forehead bent down farther to kiss my lips. She told me that she wanted me to come see her more and talk with her so she could know me more and I just started crying. She just smiled at me and rubbed me and told me not to cry.

In the midst of the things that were happening that a camera could have caught, there were so many other things happening. The way that I felt can't be described. I felt like my grandmother was aware that she isn't normally there, and was treasuring the moment while she was. I felt like my Father in Heaven was blessing me with this moment with my grandmother. (as a side note, I also felt like my grandpa was very happy that I was getting to know this woman that he knows she is.) A moment in time that I had to feel close with the person she is, to have that to hold on to until I get to know her more once I join her in Heaven. Like I was getting a glimpse of the woman I will meet there. I felt like she had grown inside of her body over these past few years...like while she has been feeling gone to us, she was inside there just perfecting her wisdom in preparation to meet her God. She was a wiser woman than I have ever known her to be. I saw a deeper woman who has learned truths about this life. Her perspectives seemed changed. (She even asked why I didn't take her to church with me and told me that she wanted to go with me.) There were many things she said that are examples of this randomness I am speaking of, but I cant even remember them all specifically, or feel as if I should write them. She just treasured the things that are truly important, and took that moment to show it to me. At one point she even talked about how much kids learn from their grandparents. She wasn't telling me that I needed to learn from her, it was just an observation she was making. She talked about family and life and aging and being together. She talked about learning and growing. She was the most loving and caring I have ever seen her. She was content and happy. I was content and happy. I felt close to my Heavenly Father, and like the veil between the here-and-now and the life to come was very thin. My grandmother was a wise and tender and loving woman.

As special as this time was to me (which I obviously cant describe!), it also is leaving me feeling very scared that I am about to lose my grandmother on this earthly journey. That thought makes it hard to breathe, and I just keep reminding myself that it is part of this life for people to move on. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that there is life after this one and that I will be with my grandmother again. I am in awe, amazed by the woman that I saw tonight. My grandmother has always been a great woman in a lot of ways, but never the woman I saw tonight. She has lived an amazing life and has incredible stories to prove her determination, whit, craftiness, strength, beauty and grit. She now has a tender love for the things in this world that truly matter and that you can take with you to the next life.

I hope to hold onto this woman that I sat with tonight. To pass that legacy on in my family tree. Because that woman was truly a heavenly Mother.