It is 3:14 in the morning and I’m sitting in a recliner in my Nana’s hospital room wide awake while she sleeps peacefully. If you know me or have even spent 10 minutes with me then you know the love that I have for her. So as you can imagine, this is tough.
Let me give you a little back story on my relationship with Nana. As a child, I spent a majority of my time with her. She played a huge part in raising me. I was always her baby. She took care of me while I was sick. Drove me everywhere I needed to go in her little grey Sunbird that she got brand new when I was in elementary school and she drove until she could drive no more (91 years old). She read me bedtime stories and prayed over me. She used to come over and clean my room and at the time I hated it because I knew that I was expected to keep it the way nana did and that was impossible. She would sit and listen to me play the same song on the piano a hundred times a day and would tell me how beautiful it was every time. Her patience was unmeasurable and I was her baby.
As time has progressed, she developed Dementia, a disease I wouldn’t wish on anyone. She has, however, always carried herself with such dignity and grace. She wakes every morning at 6, wants her coffee (1 sugar) and toast, dresses and fixes her hair, puts on all her jewelry and her makeup, and is always ready to go to the thrift store to get “a new pretty skirt”. As her Dementia has progressed, she may not always know who I am or how she knows me but she always knows that she loves me. I’ve been one of the lucky ones that shares in her caregiving and it has been one of the most precious experiences I’ve ever had. She doesn’t care what we are doing, she just wants to be close to me. She wants to hold my hand. She wants to sing hymns. She wants to watch the Gaithers (24/7) and a lot of Steve Harvey. The lady loves Steve Harvey! I hear my mom praying over her at bedtime and singing to her every night and Nana sings right along. It’s just precious. Every male that comes around is her “boyfriend” and she can light up a room with that smile.
She is my baby now. Ask her, she will tell you. I’ve learned the purest form of love with her. That doesn’t come around often and if you ever find it, keep it for as long as you can. I’m so thankful for the time I get to spend with her. If I’m ever a quarter of the loving, compassionate, kind person she is, then I will be content.