There is a not a single day I do not think about my grandmother. It's coming up on four years since her death, and I miss her more and more everyday. I wish I would have the opportunity to talk to her just one more time, for closure or perhaps just to see hear her voice one more time. Grandma, here are the things I want you to know...
I would not wish Alzheimer's Disease on my worst enemy. To see your once vibrant mind dwindle, absolutely broke my heart. You were the most kind-hearted and wise woman I have had the privilege of knowing. When people say strong women raise strong women, all I think about is how you raised my mom and how my mom and raised me. I cannot say thank you enough for all you have given me through yourself and through my mom. Your hard work, stubbornness and preservation to make something of yourself and not be stuck on the family farm your entire life, gives me loads of motivation to get through college and the knowledge that I can do anything I desire with a little hard work.
Your death was so unexpected. I am so thankful that out of the blue, I decided to spend that last weekend you were alive, with you. I have an incredible amount of guilt for not spending more time with you in your last months, when I could have easily made time to. It was very hard at times to see you struggle to talk, to remember family and friends, to not be aware of times and places but I still undeniably regret not being with you more. I want you to know to know how hard it was to see you in that state- being mindless from the Alzheimer's. I was barely a teenager when the Alzheimer's started. By the time I was able to grasp politics or needed advice on relationships, life, or just needed some words of wisdom, it was already too late to talk with you about them. This still haunts me to this day. Your wisdom and advice is irreplaceable. I'm not perfect, I have made my fair share of stupid decisions, and I would give anything to talk with you during those times and it hurts awfully bad that I cannot and will not be able to in the future. This, by no means, is your fault, it's, if anything, somewhat selfish on my part. You just were unlike anyone else, and I look up to you more than you will ever know.
On a brighter note, I am confident that in my lifetime Alzheimer's will see it's demise. My beloved university seems to have found a break-though treatment for Alzheimer's. It makes me beyond proud that this research and discovery was done at WVU's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. Although, this treatment is still in it's early stages of testing, it makes me so happy that this disease will most likely not have the ability to take away anyone else's loved ones in the future.
I see so much of you in my mom, my brother, and even myself. And it's not the same not having you around, but nonetheless it's comforting. Your sayings, your expressions, your stories, I have such vivid memory of them. Oh how I remember every detail of your stories, but what I would do just for you to tell them to me one more time. You lived such an extraordinary life and I hope I have as bright of a future as the life you lived. I will forever cherish all the memories, and most importantly you. I love you so much and forever will.