I am one of those people who can't really hide my anxiety well. I don't know that I really try to in all honesty. On this day I hoped that it wasn't as obvious as it felt. As I faced my aunt for the first time in years my hands were shaking.
For the sake of my grandmother I sat down and tried to remain calm. Then she spoke to me and I had to answer. We discussed the past month and my grandmothers decline in health and she seemed to actually listen to me. I was in shock. She was listening to what I had to say. Could things really change?
After our discussion she seemed to understand more. She stayed for another hour and got a glimpse of how my grandmother really was. She got to see first hand and I think it opened her eyes a little. We shared the information that hospice had given us and she asked if we could keep her informed. I agreed.
Due to the agitation and severity of her dementia my grandmother was given medication. Within a few days she had calmed down. She was no longer angry and we spent several nights talking, laughing, and sharing stories. Then she got worse. She had a hard time walking, didn't want to eat, and was unable to do things for herself.
I did what my aunt asked and kept her informed. I also spoke with my cousin (other family member I hadn't spoken to). I told them both my concerns and explained that I thought they should spend some time with my grandmother because things just didn't seem good. I told them I would leave while they were here if they would be more comfortable. My cousin and I talked for over an hour and she said there was no need for me to go. She understood.
Every day that went by I continued to talk to my aunt and my grandmother continued to decline. My grandmother could no longer care for herself and was totally reliant on me, my mother, and my husband. Most days she couldn't talk or when she did it was hard to understand, but I didn't give up. I kept talking to her.
One night while talking to her she spoke up. She asked me to "fix the family" and I didn't know what to say. How can I fix the family? I wouldn't know where to start. But I told her I would fix everything that I could. When I told her it would all be ok she drifted off to sleep.
This was the point that I knew God had enabled me to forgive. When I sat there and thought about it I was no longer angry. I no longer had bitterness, and my main concern was taking care of my grandma. I had finally let go and moved on. What an amazing feeling and what an amazing God!
Check back for Part Seven!
Love and Hugs,