Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Something is Wrong with Grandma..."

From the moment I hear that the in-laws will be visiting CA from Philly, my shoulders lurch up in physical defense. Then when they arrive, my big smile doesn't hide that I am in full battle to morph into Queen Warrior in mere seconds. Okay, my in-laws aren’t that bad, it's just the MIL is very negative toward me and tells me what I'm doing wrong...constantly.

This year I was ready. But this year Grandma was different. Instead of yelling at me that I relocated her coffee cup without telling her, she giggled and asked me how to use the Keurig coffee maker. Not once, not twice, but every morning, for a week.....she would ask the same thing:

1) “Three years ago I used this coffee maker thing...can you show me how to use it again?”

2) “Can I heat up my coffee in your microwave?” (She'd ask me this every 5-8 minutes) (She heated up her coffee so many times she didn't even need to drink it; it evaporated.)

Something is wrong with Grandma.

One day, hunched over the bottom double oven she grasped at the handle, "Do you mind if I heat up my coffee?"

"Um...the microwave is over here..." I answered quickly coming to her rescue.

One day she dropped her coffee, another day she dropped the milk. Both times she blamed others or shook her head in disgust that life wasn't fair.

One day I made her coffee, dragged her to a chair and suggested, "You know, if you drink all your coffee in the next five minutes, it won't get cold, and you won't need to reheat it." She looked up at me like a child happy someone was finally coming to her aide.

"Okay..." She said as she smiled.

Then one day my mother-in-law walked up to my husband, her son, and asked, “And where do you live, sweetie?”

My oldest son, Ty, eleven and sometimes more innocently funny that me, added his raw commentary, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Being away from home may have increased the stress bringing on whatever dementia my MIL was already going through. Alzheimer’s or something else….it really didn't matter. All that did matter was that Grandma would never been the same.

Not that this is a bad thing. For me. For the first time in….well…since I’ve known her…she has actually been nice to me. Complimenting me. Thanking me for being in her son’s life. This was the first time I can actually say, I like her.

I’m not going to share this with family that is devastated Grandma is losing her mind…but as I watch the bitter sad sometimes mean woman fall into a new kind of normal....I welcome the upside.

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