January 6 09

“Ma! That’s a newspaper. It’s not for eating!” we heard my dad say to his mother. no smile. no sarcasm. no anger. no frustration. just a matter-of-fact statement. like he says it every day. like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

and then my sister and i burst out laughing, because, well, it was just so ridiculous. and then it hit us. just how ridiculous this disease is. what it’s done to my grandmother. to her body. to her mind.

she is not my grandmother.

grandma cherie was always a puzzle to me. she wore a lot of track suits. she fed us copious amounts of count chocula cereal. she never forgave her sons for marrying out of the Jewish faith. she left my sister and me by the side of the road once and drove off. she struggled with anorexia for years. she rarely smiled. she always carried her own salad dressings in her purse. she sent me a $75 check for every birthday and Chanukah. she watched a lot of the Young and the Restless. she didn’t hug. or snuggle. or say ‘i love you’. she didn’t cook or bake. she was rude to waitresses. she nicknamed my sister “wanda the witch” and called her that FOR YEARS. she gave me about $1.47 in canadian coins as a wedding gift. no joke. as. a. wedding. gift.

she was a bitter, bitter woman.

grand

grand1

grand2

and then the Alzheimer’s took over her body.

and suddenly she was nice. and warm. and kind. and hugged. and smiled. and told me she loved me. and loved on my children. and told me that my Emily was never going to get lost in this world.

and then she said it again. and again. and again.

because she couldn’t remember that she was saying it. and slowly she’d forget. and forget some more. and forget some more.

she forgot how much distaste she’d had for my stepmom, who decided that she was going to take care of my grandmother, no matter what.  she took her shopping, for lunch, to get her hair done. she took her to movies, to plays, on trips.

and when her mind got more and more confused, my stepmom came more and more often. when my grandmother was moved from the assisted living wing to the full-on care wing, my stepmom came more and more. and she still took her to lunch, and shopping and to get her hair done.

and when she forgot to eat, my stepmom reminded her.

and when she forgot that she loved to watch the Young and the Restless, my stepmom reminded her.

and when she forgot how to dress, my stepmom reminded her.

and when she forgot to use the bathroom, my stepmom changed her.

and when she forgot who i was, my stepmom reminded her. “This is Alicia. Steve’s daughter” and when she forgot who Steve was, my stepmom reminded her. “Steve is your son, Cherie” and when she forgot who my stepmom was, my stepmom reminded her.

and when she forgets that newspaper isn’t food, my stepmom tells her. or my dad tells her. or i tell her.

My grandmother is gone. She is just a shell of a woman. She likes to sit in the sun. She likes to smile at people. and she likes when my stepmom comes to visit her. She likes when my Emily and I come to visit her. Even if she has no idea who my Emily is. and even if Emily doesn’t understand why her greatgrandma doesn’t remember her. and even if the tears well up in my eyes because i just want my grandma back. i want the one who was mean and didn’t smile or hug or cook or bake. the one i am not sure i loved when i was growing up….the one i am not sure i even liked. i just want to laugh about getting $1.47 in canadian change and not about a shitty, shitty disease.

gradn3

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  1. It one of the few diseases that hurts the family and friends more than the person suffering from it. Your step-mom is a God-send .. it is not easy looking after someone with this horrible disease. And so so hard to watch people go through it….

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    Comment by Sarah on January 6, 2009
  2. I’m so sorry for what your family is going through. My grandmother had this disease as well, and it was just torture. She never remembered my mom (her daughter) but she always remembered my dad(her son-in-law). And although it wasn’t her fault, it hurt my mom every single day she went to visit her. Nothing is crueler than robbing someone of her memory and yet providing a body that’s relatively healthy.

    TUWABVBs last blog post..Hello 2009!!! (Three days late)

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    Comment by TUWABVB on January 6, 2009
  3. I am so sorry. This just sucks.

    We are going through the same thing with my grandmother now and it’s just really hard.

    Especially with my mom gone, it’s hard to know if it’s really worth the 4 hour drive to go see her, considering that she won’t even know I’m there.

    Your stepmom sounds like an amazing woman – I don’t think I know anyone who would give so much of herself to someone who can’t give it back.

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    Comment by Sarah on January 6, 2009
  4. My mother is caring for my paternal great aunt who is in the start of this terrible disease. She has no family around and my mother would stepped up to help her. Only she used to be nice and now she is mean and paranoid. It is so so hard. And so so sad. Hugs.

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    Comment by Chantal on January 6, 2009
  5. Oh my word… you just brought tears to my eyes at work.

    My grandmother – we call her Mamaw – is going through the same thing.

    She’s paralyzed on one side and lived with us for 8 years when I was a child. When I was a teenager I got up early every Saturday morning and took her to have her hair done, took her to the grocery store and took her to lunch before taking her back home.

    The last time I saw her she asked me 3 times who I was. She knew she was supposed to know who I was, but couldn’t remember me. It absolutely pains me to see her like that.

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    Comment by Melanie on January 6, 2009
  6. I am so sorry, this disease just sucks. Having watched my best friend go through it with her father, I know what your stepmom is up against in terms of care. She must be an amazing woman.

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    Comment by The Stiletto Mom on January 6, 2009
  7. Oh Ali, I’m so sorry about your gramma. It must be so hard, but you are kind to bring your daughter to visit and to remember her for who she was. xo

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    Comment by Assertagirl on January 6, 2009
  8. I am so very sorry. How good of you, your stepmom & your daughter to visit and remember times past.

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    Comment by Legallyblondemel on January 6, 2009
  9. I am sitting here in tears.. There are no words other than I am so sorry this disease robbed you of your grandmother..

    Kims last blog post..Mirror Mirror I need a favor

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    Comment by Kim on January 6, 2009
  10. Ali:
    It makes us wonder who the real person was, the nice or the mean. Maybe she had difficulty letting the nice out. I don’t know, really. Maybe the real answer is she is both, and that makes he a human being.

    I am so sorry, I know this is hard. Peace to you and yours,
    IG

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    Comment by Irish Gumbo on January 6, 2009
  11. This was such a beautifully written piece about such an ugly, ugly disease. I understand how broken your heart is, and admit that of anything about aging, this disease terrifies me more than anything else.

    differentkindofgirls last blog post..joe jonas, if you’re reading this, i still totally pink puffy heart love you, too, ok?

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    Comment by differentkindofgirl on January 6, 2009
  12. That was beautifully written. I’m so sorry Ali, it really is a terrible disease.

    Rubys last blog post..Movie Review

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    Comment by Ruby on January 6, 2009
  13. I’m glad I read this pre-makeup and not post-makeup.

    I’ve not experienced this disease, but the last few days before my Grandmother died, she stopped recognizing us and just for those few days it was heartbreaking to me that she didn’t know who I was, her only grandchild. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to experience that for months, or years on end.

    Hugs to you!

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    Comment by Rhi on January 6, 2009
  14. It is so sad. One of my best friends lost her grandma to the same disease.

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    Comment by Kyla on January 6, 2009
  15. how very well written that is… what an awful disease that takes your mind and leaves your body… i’m so sorry that your family is going thru this.

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    Comment by Cupcake on January 6, 2009
  16. My grandmother had dimensia (a very similar thing to Alzheimer’s), I know I spelled it wrong, and it was heartbreaking. Over the years I cried because she didn’t remember me anymore, or because I had a temper (I am ashamed to say I may have smacked her when she wouldn’t sit on the toilet once).

    I didn’t cry when she died.

    Because for the four years before she did, at the very least, I SAW her dying; a real, mental and physical death. It’s heartbreaking, and when she was gone I had no more tears to cry.

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    Comment by Maryann on January 6, 2009
  17. oh Ali i’m so sorry about your gran.your stepmom is very kind to take such good care of her.sending you a big hug

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    Comment by LAVENDULA on January 6, 2009
  18. Oh, sweetie. My heart is aching for you and tears are in my eyes. Hugs.

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    Comment by Angella on January 6, 2009
  19. We went through that with my grandmother, too. It hurts. I’m very sorry.

    Becks last blog post..We Three Kings

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    Comment by Beck on January 6, 2009
  20. Five years before my mother died she started losing her memory. She had a hard time remembering us, she could not feed herself, and she began forgetting what the bathroom was for. Then, she had a stroke, which took away her speech. No, she didn’t eat the paper. But it’s heartbreaking to see her vacant stare and her body slowly wasting away. I feel for your loss. It’s a terrible disease. And even today just remembering it – even after so many years have passed – makes any less painful.

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    Comment by jan on January 6, 2009
  21. My Gaga has Alzheimer’s as well. She used to dress in the fanciest clothes and jewelry….color her hair fire engine red. She cooked all her mother’s italian recipes by heart. She sang to me. She called me the Angel with Horns. She went to the mall everyday. She was my Gaga. Then I started to help her color her hair, she called me by my mother’s name….which I let her because it meant she was at least talking. Then she forgot to eat, and bathe and dress. She’s in there…just sleeping. It’s hard to witness and even scarier to realize…that may be me one day. God bless you and your family.

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    Comment by Dawn on January 6, 2009
  22. Your stepmother is a pretty amazing person. It’s such an evil disease.

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    Comment by Captain Dumbass on January 6, 2009
  23. I’m so sorry Ali.

    We are watching a close family friend (44 yrs old) progress into the ALS he was diagnosed with last year and my heart breaks.

    Christines last blog post..

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    Comment by Christine on January 6, 2009
  24. XOXOXOXOXOXO

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    Comment by Jen Maier on January 6, 2009
  25. What a great post. I have been there as my granmother died a couple years ago from the same illness. But you said it all right here!

    Shellys last blog post..Totally Random Tuesday….

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    Comment by Shelly on January 6, 2009
  26. I am so sorry! Taylor is going through this with his grandpa and I can see how hard it is on him. Lots of love to you and your family, and WAY TO GO stepmom! Good people.

    Kaleighas last blog post..Reasons to Love Him (copying Kerri)…

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    Comment by Kaleigha on January 6, 2009
  27. It was a difficult Christmas for me, because my grandmother is slipping further and further away from us — although not with Alzheimer’s, with dementia and confusion and just general poor health. It is incredibly difficult to watch her decline, and all I can say to you is that I understand and I am so sorry.

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    Comment by jcristg on January 6, 2009
  28. Hugs to you, my friend. Beautiful post.

    It is such a hard disease. I watched, from the outside, when my Great Uncle passed away from this (I was only about 10 and didn’t understand) but I remember watching the frustration and sadness in my grandma and grandpa when they went to visit him. Every week, rain or shine.

    I think she’d want you to laugh about the Canadian change. I don’t think she wants you to remember her as this shell of a woman.

    Kristabellas last blog post..When Writer’s Block Attacks

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    Comment by Kristabella on January 6, 2009
  29. Chris’ grandmother has the beginning stages of alzheimers… it’s hard to watch someone you love change, fade away.

    Enjoy the time you have with her, and enjoy her smile, because it means that she’s happy, and not suffering, even if that happiness comes with such a high price.

    kgirls last blog post..Waiting…

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    Comment by kgirl on January 6, 2009
  30. My grandmother went through the same thing and passed away this year. In a lot of ways it was a blessing because in reality she was already gone, but I miss the grandma I had when I was little so much.

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    Comment by Chris on January 6, 2009
  31. My heart goes out to you and your family. Really beautiful words, Ali.

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    Comment by She Likes Purple on January 6, 2009
  32. Beautiful post Ali. It’s a heartbreaking disease. But it’s so important to have people like your step-mom who are selfless enough to step in and care for her. In my line of work I see so many stories of those who are left to fade away because the family can’t take the heartache. The fact that you and your family love her so much and take such good care of her speaks volumes.

    Lots of prayers for you guys. :)

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    Comment by AJ on January 6, 2009
  33. Your stepmom and I have much in common, and your words reminded me how others share my world view. I have my 90 year old mother in law living with me for the past seven years. Four sons, and no one saw her deterioration to this day. She is a part of my life because it is the right thing to do. I would love to talk to your step-mom and tell her I understand and appreciate this fellow sister in care, not because we had to, but because it needed to be done.
    Helene

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    Comment by Helene on January 6, 2009
  34. That was lovely. Jeff’s dad is starting to get the disease and has taken to yelling at the pets. It’s kind of scary. I’m sad to know that this is probably the most lucid I will ever see him. My heart goes out to you.

    Karens last blog post..Open Letter 4376

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    Comment by Karen on January 6, 2009
  35. Beautiful post. My grandmother is going through this now. The worst part is that she’d be so angry about who she’s become.

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    Comment by Nic on January 6, 2009
  36. Beautiful post. What a sad story!Your step mom truly sounds amazing. Hugs!

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    Comment by Nadine on January 6, 2009
  37. You are lucky to have your step mom show you what real love is. The way she stepped up to care for your gramma is amazing and loving.
    I am sorry what you are going through. I cannot imagine the pain. Best of luck.

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    Comment by Vanessa on January 6, 2009
  38. This was such a moving post. I can’t imagine what it must be like, to witness someone slipping away…yet still physically exist.

    Your stepmom sounds like an angel. And you, too, for continuing to visit even though it is so hard.

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    Comment by Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children on January 6, 2009
  39. This is exactly what happened to my grandmother who died last summer. In a way, it was sort of a relief to see her go in peace after eight years of living with her and her dementia. (Only, she was a sweet, sweet lady who baked and hugged a lot. And the one who raised me. She was even sweeter after the dementia, but again, never knew who I was.) It’s a very hard thing to deal with, that’s for sure. Love you!

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    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on January 6, 2009
  40. My first time reading your blog (I linked here from Angella)…

    Alzheimer’s is the scariest disease I can think of watching a loved one suffer through.

    joyces last blog post..thank god for the internet…

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    Comment by joyce on January 6, 2009
  41. That’s awful, honey. I am so sorry. What a hell of a woman your stepmother is though. Hugs to you. xo

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    Comment by Kimberly on January 6, 2009
  42. DUDE. Your stepmom is my hero. It’s crazy to think that we’re all about to start going through this kinds of awfulness over the next few decades with grandparents or our own parents.

    You are also one of the few people who could infuse humour appropriately into such a sad post. Hugs.

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    Comment by nadineAKAscarbiedoll on January 6, 2009
  43. Alzheimer’s sucks in every way, and I know that’s not eloquent to say but I know it’s true. My husband’s side of the family knows it all too well. Ali – You will always have memories like the buck forty-seven now that you’ve recorded it in your amazing way. xo

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    Comment by katie ~ motherbumper on January 6, 2009
  44. Your stepmom is an amazing woman.
    My mother had some dementia as she got older and sometimes she was downright funny! She thought the nurse was my cousin, Kathleen and made the nurse give her a kiss! And she thought my sister was the doctor. Other times it was just sad to see her waste away like that. Mom passed on 9 y ears ago.

    Joanies last blog post..colds and other stuff

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    Comment by Joanie on January 6, 2009
  45. This reminds me of the last visit I made to my grandma almost exactly 1 year ago. She had no idea who I was, but that was ok. The visit was for me not her. Still, one of the hardest things ever.
    And your step-mom is obviously a very special lady.

    Teris last blog post..History

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    Comment by Teri on January 6, 2009
  46. I’m sorry that you and your family has to deal with such a horrible disease. It sounds awful, but I feel that it would be better to have it over with immediately than to have to suffer for so long.

    I lost my grandma to Alzheimer’s in March 2005. She had it for 20 agonizing years. My poor mother had to care for her everyday, driving 10 miles to check on her at her house. She did okay as long as someone checked on her everday to make sure things were okay.

    She would tell us never to put her in a home. She would look at you in the eye and beg not to do that to her.

    Eventually, grandma couldn’t live alone anymore. We couldn’t take her in, we didn’t have the space. And my uncle was a piece of crap and never bothered with her. He never even visited her after she started forgetting things. So, even though it killed us to have to do it, Mom looked around for a nursing home that would meet her standards. She found one and was gonna break the news to grandma that day when she came over there and found her dead on the couch. From a heart attack. Perhaps in that crazy twisted mind of hers, she knew that she couldn’t do it anymore? I don’t know…but I sure do miss the old broad. :)

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    Comment by Dilbitz on January 6, 2009
  47. I am so sorry that your grandmother’s old personality was taken away but she is still your grandmother, good or bad. I miss my grandmother and that was 30 yrs ago. Both she and mother were very much in their mind when they were suffering before they passed away. I don’t know what is better but either way, getting old sucks.

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    Comment by Lynette on January 6, 2009
  48. My grandma had very early stages before she passed away. It frightened me when she didnt know me. I’m sorry you have to endure this. *hugs*

    Misss last blog post..Modern Mom Challenge – The Kick Off

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    Comment by Miss on January 6, 2009
  49. Oh ali martell. I’m so sorry.

    You made me laugh and cry, stop toying with my emotions!

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    Comment by heather... on January 6, 2009
  50. This post says a lot more about your stepmother than anything. What an amazing woman.

    Alzheimer’s is a horrible, horrible disease.

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    Comment by Rhea on January 6, 2009
  51. I’m going to echo the comment that this is an amazing tribute to your stepmother – and her wonderful spirit.

    I’m sorry you’re watching your grandmother go through this.

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    Comment by Chantal on January 6, 2009
  52. Oh Ali. I’ve seen this. Josh’s grandmother. I’ve seen what it did to her body, her mind, her family. I’m so sorry….

    I don’t need to say this, but I will: This post was a beautiful, beautiful tribute to who Cheri was, and a powerful portrait of this terrible disease.

    And, what an incredible woman your stepmother is. INCREDIBLE. She’s a true hero….

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    Comment by Haley-O on January 6, 2009
  53. Ali, I’m sorry, I know how much this one sucks. I’ve lost my remaining two grandparents in the last 4 months. I’ll tell you, it’s never easy. No matter what you thought of her. Hugs to you.

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    Comment by Issa on January 6, 2009
  54. This post really got me wondering… if we were taken out of our lives, our memories erased, and thrown back in, would we treat people differently?

    My hubby’s grandma was a very bitter woman who took every opportunity to cut me down. When we saw her for the last time after her kidney’s had shut down, she hugged and kissed me and held my hand as we talked. It’s an odd thing to cry over someone who treated you so horribly, I know. As long as she’s alive, there’s always hope that they’ll find a cure or treatment.

    lorens last blog post..Scoot over, scoot over (plus a marriage bonus)

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    Comment by loren on January 6, 2009
  55. My best friends mom died from Alzhiemers, and it was very hard to visit her, she was like my second mom, but she always remembered who I was, but not her own daughter and I truly think it was because to her…her daughter was a young child..not a full grown woman that was saying she was her daughter. It tore my friend up. Then we did have a laugh when she made me be the one to help her mom get dressed for a wedding, putting her breasts into the bra..it came to me to do it. But it is a horrible way to slowly die, to lose the memories and the knowledge and the personality. And like everyone has said, your step mom is wonderful, not many people will give of themselves for that much time.
    Good luck and hang in there and enjoy the little moments when you can.

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    Comment by Laura on January 6, 2009
  56. Such a shit disease to be close to. Sucks ass. Thats all.

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    Comment by Sleepynita on January 6, 2009
  57. It IS shitty. So shitty. I know.

    And I’m so sorry.

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    Comment by maggie, dammit on January 6, 2009
  58. I am crying because I understand. It is shitty, super shitty.

    xo

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    Comment by jenB on January 6, 2009
  59. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for your family. But I have some idea due to your amazing writing. i am so sorry.

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    Comment by sensibly Sassy on January 6, 2009
  60. Oh Ali, this post totally made me cry. This disease is so insidious and it’s heartbreaking to watch it happen. What a strong person you are, and your stepmom! I just want to hug her and take her out for coffee.

    My boyfriend’s Aunt (who raised him) was mean like that when he was growing up but he takes care of her and is there for her similarly now that she is going thru dementia. She doesn’t like me anymore (gets me confused with someone else) so I can’t help like I used to and it kills me to just sit by and do nothing.

    This past Christmas he had a few days leave and he spent more than half of it with her and as much as I wanted to spend more time with him, I love him more that he is there for her.

    Not to make this all about me, but just to let you know that I get it, and I understand.

    xoxo

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    Comment by mary on January 6, 2009
  61. It is a terrible disease, and I’m sorry someone you care for so much is going through it. In a lot of ways, it is harder on those without the illness than the one suffering.

    (But, as an aside? Anorexic who feeds kids copious amounts of Count Chocula? Really?)

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    Comment by SciFi Dad on January 6, 2009
  62. Your step-mom is an amazing woman for her patience and dedication.
    My mother-in-law has alzheimer’s and taking care of her has been a challenge for my sis-in-law.
    When my husband and I started dating, Mom had been a caring, affectionate, even-tempered lady. Since this disease, she is still loving but now has frequent little spikes of angry/frustrated confusion. It’s heartbreaking.

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    Comment by Nenette on January 6, 2009
  63. Thank you for sharing this. What a crappy disease indeed, but your telling of it made me smile. You have good memories of a true character and it sounds like you’re all lucky to have a strong and supportive family around. Good luck on this journey.

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    Comment by Tricia Mumby on January 6, 2009
  64. What a beautiful post Ali. I just loved it.

    My great-aunt (who is the mother of my aunt that is dying at the moment) is in her later stages of Alzimer’s as well. My step-grandmother died from it about ten years ago.

    It’s really hard not to laugh because sometimes it’s jsut so comical, bittersweet I guess.

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    Comment by sam {temptingmama} on January 7, 2009
  65. Truly touching post. My grandfather is going through the same right now and this reading this was very close to my heart, Ali. It’s time to give him a call tomorrow.

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    Comment by OHmommy on January 7, 2009
  66. What a beautiful post.
    My grandmother suffered from dementia (not as bad as having alzheimers), and when she died I asked my Mom about it, she said “I said good-bye to the Mom I knew 3 years ago” Its sad, its Hard, really hard.

    monstergirlees last blog post..More Summer…

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    Comment by monstergirlee on January 7, 2009
  67. I’m sorry for what the disease has done to your family – but loved the piece.

    Very much.

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    Comment by Sher on January 7, 2009
  68. I am so very sorry that your grandmother has to go through this. I know what this is doing to you and your family, and for that I am sorry. I know, because we are going through this with my brother, who is no where near as old as your grandmother and it is hell. Stay strong.

    I did like your piece though – and I love the title of the blog – cheaper than therapy is perfect.

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    Comment by Kat on January 7, 2009
  69. oh wow… it is a shitty disease :(

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    Comment by Holly on January 7, 2009
  70. I’m sure this was a difficult post to write but thank you for sharing – it’s a beautiful tribute to your grandma. Your stepmom sounds like an amazingly strong and compassionate woman.

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    Comment by joscelyn on January 7, 2009
  71. I have been very fortunate and none of my family members have suffered from Alzheimer’s. I am extremely grateful for this as Alzheimer’s the one disease that really scares me. I know you don’t have a choice in the matter, and if you did you wouldn’t have chosen the disease to effect your family, but I think you are still very strong and brave for having to go through this. hugs.

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    Comment by regan on January 7, 2009
  72. A nice tribute to your grandmother, good and bad.

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    Comment by Teena in Toronto on January 7, 2009
  73. By the time I met my husband’s grandfather, she was gone. A shell. Lost in Alzheimer’s. I always have regretted that I didn’t get to meet the Nona that Dave knew and adored.

    This post really hit home for me. It’s beautiful, and it made me tear up.

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    Comment by mamatulip on January 7, 2009
  74. My grandmother is going through this, too. She has crazy moments of clarity and then… she’s asking who I am and where I grew up. It’s scary and hard and it sucks.

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    Comment by Courtney on January 7, 2009
  75. This is such a touching post. When I was younger, one of my friends grandmother’s was in the beginning stages and lived with them. She had her own phone line, and all of her friends had sort of drifted off. So my friend and I would call her from the other line and act like we were her friends so she wouldn’t be lonely. Posing as a 71 year old women when you are 13 is sort of interesting. I had to make up random shit about dentures and such. We kept this up for at least 3 years. Looking back, it was a blast, and I’m glad we did it. It really kept her grandmother happy. (My code name was Opal, btw.)

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    Comment by Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy on January 7, 2009
  76. So sad and so scary. My grandmother had this at the end, and the disease is what made us practically CELEBRATE when my grandmother was diagnosed with liver cancer and given just weeks. Celebrate. That’s a crappy, crappy disease, to make liver cancer good news.

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    Comment by Swistle on January 8, 2009
  77. My grandpa died Jan1, 2003 after 5 years of hell. Not for him, he was pretty much gone by yer 3 1/2. But hell for my mom and her siblings and for my grandmother, who spent every available moment by his side, doing all the things her would not allow the nurses to do. She fed him, bathed him, changed him, listened to her minister husband curse and watched him strip naked. It is an awful disease and I am truly sorry.

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    Comment by LibraryGirl on January 8, 2009
  78. All I have to say is that I have been there and it really sucks. Sorry you have to go through this.

    [Reply]

    Comment by cdn lawyerista on January 13, 2009
  79. What a lovely, moving post about a really horrible disease. Your stepmother is obviously a very kind woman to set aside the past and give this level of devotion to her ailing mother-in-law. I am so sorry both for the fact that she was not a loving grandmother when you were young, and for what you are going through now. What a great reminder for all of us to live our lives right now they way we WANT to be remembered.

    JavaMoms last blog post..Why You Should Always Keep Bungee Cords In Your Car

    [Reply]

    Comment by JavaMom on January 14, 2009
  80. {{Hug}}

    [Reply]

    Comment by thatgirlblogs on January 14, 2009
  81. [...] to get when I open my reader – sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry. I’m inspired, moved and touched by so much that I read, left awestruck by the talent that’s out there, the [...]

    Pingback by Where am I going...and why am I in this handbasket? on January 16, 2009
  82. I know exactly how you feel. My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and just the other day I was lamenting the fact that I will never again get an art set 5 years in a row from him…I won’t get anything. Just a shell of the person he used to be. :(

    [Reply]

    Comment by Bethany on January 18, 2009
  83. It runs in my family. My mother at 63 is now being faced with the same challenge her mother had 25 yrs ago. It is very difficult to deal with. But with love and care they make it through every phase of it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by HAUTE COCO on January 21, 2009
  84. it runs in my husbands family…on both sides. i hope it skips him. because it’s a horrific illness.
    i’m sorry for your family. hugs.

    [Reply]

    Comment by melissa on February 14, 2009
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