All of a sudden, on the way home from the gym at 3am, I got very sad about my Nana.
She’s not actually related to me. When I was an infant, both of my parents worked out of the house, so they found Elaine Meyer right up the street. She was retired with grown children of her own. She said, Christina will address me as Mrs Meyer, and I will address you both as Mr and Mrs Friis.
That lasted about a day. She was Nana.
She’s in a home now. She’s in the fourth stage of Alzheimer’s. She sleeps most of the time. She doesn’t really know me or my brother anymore. At least I don’t think she does. She looks at us like she maybe recognizes us, but who knows.
It’s just bullshit.
This year, as a 25 year old, I should have trick or treated to her house – and that’s the only house I’d visit; I should have helped her get her garden ready for winter; I should be talking to her about when she’ll be getting her live Christmas tree, so that Conor and I can come over and decorate it with her old ornaments and that tinsle shit; I should have her put my hair in curlers for the wedding I’m attending on Saturday; she should be offering me frosted oatmeal cookies and milk, or pop – if her son has any downstairs; she should look at my masters diploma and say, “isn’t that nice.”
But none of that is happening. It’s not fair. It’s bullshit.
She essentially raised my brother and me: took me walking through puddles and read to me, took my brother to the park and played cars with him.
She did so much for us and I can’t go see her now because it absolutely kills me. I know you’re not supposed to not visit just because the loved one doesn’t remember you, but at this point, I doubt she even wakes up much.
Because her own children are worthless, my mother is her POA and guardian. Because she doesn’t get much money from social security or whatever, she’s being cremated and I don’t even know if she’ll have a headstone.
When it happens.
I’ll have to do something. I’ll have to get her a memorial somewhere. I can’t let this monumental woman slip away like her memory has.
I just think of all the times we misbehaved for her and I pray that she doesn’t remember any of those times.
We’re still in the turtle-shaped sandbox as toddlers, okay, Nana? We just blew some bubbles and had lunch.