my grandmother

My grandmother died this morning. She has been sick for a long, long time. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1996. I lived with my grandparents for about a year – from the spring of 1997 to the summer of 1998.

She was ambulatory then, but needed supervision because she would get lost in her own house. That’s part of why I lived with them. She didn’t know who I was for about the latter third of the time I lived with them. I moved out because I married J. Shortly after, she became completely bedridden. She stopped speaking about 5 years ago. My grandfather has been pureeing her food for at least 3 years.

My grandfather insisted on being her caretaker. He would not put her in a nursing home. She died in her sleep at home. She was 80 years old.

She was a brilliant woman. Her parents insisted on educating their two daughters as if they were boys – a fairly revolutionary idea at the time. Neither she nor her sister knew how to cook a thing – but they both did very well in school. She attended Tulane University – and graduated with dual degrees in mathematics and engineering. She later completed all but her dissertation in mathematics at Vanderbilt. She had 3 children by then. I’m not kidding when I say brilliant. She mostly stayed home with her 5 children. But she also taught mathematics courses at local colleges until her mid-60s.

I am the oldest grandchild. I have a cousin one year younger than me. After that, there is a large gap of 9 years. It saddens me deeply that the only woman my younger cousins remember was so, so sick. At least I got a chance to talk to her, to know her when she was light and beautiful and herself. I remember watching her get ready – applying make-up, putting on jewelry, spraying perfume. She seemed so perfect to me. Every time I smell that perfume, I picture her.

I’ve mourned her loss for many years – so while I’m sad today – I’m also relieved. She was suffering, my grandfather was suffering, the whole family was suffering.

The selfish stuff: I’m worried about our scheduled transfer. The funeral probably won’t be until Monday or Tuesday – am I allowed to travel? Should we cancel the cycle? Or just go ahead with it as planned? I really want to attend the funeral – but will it somehow ruin our chances if I either drive or fly to Dallas? Surely not? Do I call my clinic and ask? Do I wait until I know what the actual arrangements will be?

~ by Larisa on September 21, 2006.

13 Responses to “my grandmother”

  1. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I think your Grandmother would want you to continue your cycle – even if it means missing the funeral.

  2. I’m so sorry. My great-grandma had alzheimer’s and I mostly remember her sick. I’m glad you can remember your gramdmother well. It’a an awful disease for the whole family.

    I’d wait until you have solid details before making any decisions.

  3. I’m so sorry about your grandmother. My last remaining grandparent, my father’s mother, also had Alzheimer’s and died right before my 30th birthday. She had been suffering from it for a long time and was in her early 80s. Her death was, in a way, less sad than her life at that point – she had grown so frail and confused and often scared. When she could still speak, she said the most heartbreaking thing to me and my brother when we visited one time: “I know I love you, but who are you?”

    As far as the transfer goes, I’d wait until you know the arrangements, but I would think that either skipping the funeral or driving to/from Dallas will be fine – just do whatever you think will make you most at peace.

  4. I’m so sorry. My grandfather was recently diagnosed with Alzhiemers.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother… my thoughts are with you {{HUGS}}

  6. I’m so sorry. Your family is most definitely in my thoughts.

    As far as the cycle goes, if you do transfer on Saturday (or even if it was on Sunday) then I would think a trip on Monday or Tuesday would be fine. Since I cycled out of town for my last two cycles, I road in a car for 4 hours the day after ET both times and it was fine. Good luck.

  7. I’m sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like she led an life out of the ordinary.

  8. I’m glad she is no longer suffering but I am so very sorry for your family. It is hard to lose such a special person.

  9. I am very sorry about the loss of your Grandmother. Losing a loved one is hard, even when it is expected and they have been sick.

    After my last frozen transfer I had scheduled a vacation that involved a four hour plane ride. I asked my doctor if I should reschedule the trip or the transfer and she said no. Said that as long as I didn’t leave the day of transfer that she had no problem with travelling in the 2ww.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss Mrs. Hope. I am glad she is at peace, and not hurting now.


  11. I am so sorry for your loss, my husbands ex’s mather passed away on our cycle and we got our first BFP in 4 yrs we used it as sign and I know your grandmother will want to watch over her great grandchild from above, and I know she would want you to do it.

  12. Sorry just read the post I sent you regarding his ex’s mother, he was close to her and wanted nothing but the best for him thats why we use it as a sign.

  13. So sorry for your loss.

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