Just after Christmas, I met someone for the first time. Well, that’s not exactly correct. I’ve known this person my entire life. I’ve spent holidays with her for decades and even spent many nights at her home.
But she met me for the first time. More than once during my visit.
She is my grandmother, and I love her dearly. She loves me even more. She just doesn’t recognize me. Or remember my name, even though she heard it during our visit.
My grandmother graduated valedictorian of her high school class and was one of the early women in the workforce. She raised two boys and cared for me many summers. And she is one of the more than 5 million Americans suffering from dementia.
My dad and uncle are caring for her with the help of a nurse during the day. Though they never complain, I can tell, being a caregiver isn’t easy. Many of you likely find yourself in a similar situation today. I’m praying for you as I write this.
Her mind may be letting her down, but my grandmother still loves company and sharing stories. When people visit, laughter still fills the room. She’s still made in the image of God.
She’s still my grandmother. And I can’t wait to see her again. Even if it means I have to reintroduce myself. That just gives me a chance to get to know her all over again.
"Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God." -1 Timothy 5:3-4
Editor’s note: Buckner retirement communities offer a continuum of care for seniors, including those in need of memory care. For more information about Buckner Retirement Services, visit https://www.buckner.org/retirement-services.
Written by John Hall, associate director of public relations at Buckner International.