Thursday, December 27, 2012
After watching my family open presents on Christmas Day from the 2nd level so my foot wouldn't get knocked around by toy crazed children high on adrenaline, I realized the few pics I took were focused on grandma. They were from behind but I didn't care. I love just seeing the back of her frosty hair perfectly coiffed from the hairdresser a few days before and her red sweater she'd chosen for the holiday. It was an okay day for her and we learn to cherish the calm to good days. There are times I wanted to run downstairs, scoop her up while inhaling her scent of perfume and take away this horrible condition. I would do it if I could. I found thoughts of wondering what next Christmas would be like creeping in just like they had the year before. I had to stop myself before I started tearing up.
My grandma, the woman who babysat me while my parents finished out their senior year to graduate, who supported me in any endeavor I took on and made many childhood memories with special touches she never realized...is battling dementia. She has her good days and her bad days but the disease is progressing much faster than we thought it would. We're having scares with her and it's horrible to watch this woman you love so much struggle so much with daily things. Every moment with her is precious especially when glimpses of her true personality shine through. You learn to soak it all in in ways that go well beyond the concept of "oh, they're getting older." You never know the day she may look at you and not be able to remember who you are...and you're scared. I have always been very sentimental, it's well known in my family but with this, you get even more so. My mom and cousin came upstairs to where the Mr and I were sitting and we were just talking. My aunt and other cousin sat down and we were enjoying our time together while Grandma and Grandpa were watching the kids bliss out with their new toys. I apparently missed some kind of signal because the next thing I know there are 2 bags in front of me and an envelope with instructions from my mom to open the envelope first. Inside is a note that says "I'm passing the gumdrop tree down to you now. Enjoy the memories. Love Grandma." I bust into full blown ugly cry complete with vein poppage. In the one bag is gumdrops and decorative rocks and in the other is this...
The bottom is missing for now so it's jerry-rigged but I guess my mom was thinking of sentimental things that people might like to have in the future and she knew grandma no longer used the gumdrop tree so she asked her what she thought about passing it down to me one day. Even when it was explained to her, she didn't seem to remember the concept so it wouldn't be missed. She said I could have it now. So my whole family looked for it one day and they found it, wrapped it up and gave it to me Christmas Day. It brought back all of the memories of seeing it on the table at Christmases from my childhood. My mom and aunts reminisced about it always being on the table when they were kids too and that it was 42 years old. Grandma came up and I thanked her for giving it to me and she smiled and said 'you're welcome!' I don't know if she knew what I was referring to or not and I wasn't going to make a big deal over it in front of her but the rest of my family knows what it means to me. I asked if they were sure one of them didn't want it and they all agreed it would mean more to me. It does...especially now. It will have a good home for as long as I have it and I will cherish all of the memories I have of Christmases past.
Have you had something passed down to you that means the world to you?
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