Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I "Notebooked" Myself


So, I don't know if you've heard about getting "Notebooked" or not. Basically, it's when a girl asks a guy to watch a movie, then she puts in The Notebook, and as the movie proceeds, the guy gets all romantic and lovey-dovey. Yep, he's been "Notebooked." Anyway, so the other night The Notebook was playing on TV. For those who haven't seen it--shame! It basically is the story of a couple, then she gets Alzheimer's, then it ends with the lady remembering her husband, and they die together. I decided to watch it. I haven't been feeling very great, oh just about this whole month, so I've been doing a lot of laying around. Anyway, as the movie neared the end, I had to turn it off because I got so teary! You might be asking yourself why, so here it is. This year has been probably the biggest year as far as life changing for me and those around me. One of those people is my grandma, Grandma Wood. Last year at this time, she was driving, buying gifts, and hosting us for Thanksgiving dinner. She is the person who always remembers birthdays and special events. She's even cut things out of the paper and laminated them for me. She's so caring and loving. Well, basically throughout this year, my dear grandma has been diagnosed with end-stage Alzheimer's disease, possibly brought on so quickly from the stress of my grandpa's heart surgery last December. It's the weirdest thing because some days she'll call me by name and be really happy, and 10 minutes later she's wondering who I am and where she is. Then there's "Where's Grandpa?" when in fact, he's sitting next to her.I remember the first time I went to their house, and she didn't know who I was. I bawled all the way home. This still frequently happens after I visit (the crying). The saddest thing of all is that sometimes she is extremely aware of it. She's said to me, "Michelle, something is wrong with me. I can't remember where I live," and me telling her that she's sick, but we'll take care of her. I think I could handle it a little better if she didn't have these episodes of complete remembrance. I know that I am extremely lucky to have my grandparents in my life all these years. Many of my students have lost their grandparents this year. I think it's just a little bit of sadness at the loss of what I thought would be. I thought my grandma would be around to see me married and to see my babies, but I know realize that won't be the case. When I go to their house, I see all the little reminders of the grandma I know--her handwritten recipe books all lined up, her decorations for each of the seasons, cards, little notes. During this year, I've watched Grandma deteriorate significantly, and it makes me really sad. But I've also been able to spend some time with her and see that even though she's lost somewhere, her sweet personality and spirit still show through. That is a reason to smile. All of this came to my memory as I watched The Notebook, and I had to turn it off in fear of being a cry baby all night! (Mom, I told you no!)

The Foaming Brush

For a select few of us (you know who you are), this image of the foaming brush at the car wash brings back fond memories. It's amazing what a little time and a few quarters can do in cases of boredom! In high school, a few of my friends and I frequently went down to the local car wash. Of course, we only went when a car needed a desperate cleaning. Anyway, after inserting enough quarters to get the job done, we would always put in an extra at the end, or we just took advantage of the time remaining. Yes, we would leave the foaming brush running until the extra time was gone. Hey, at least we were paying for it. :) Something about the way the bubbles foamed so big and how they also smelled like Bubblicious bubble gum just seemed to give us a good laugh and brief moment of entertainment! I still think of this every so often when I am washing my car, and sooner or later, I turn the dial to the foaming brush and leave. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Brother, the Airman

Here are some pictures of Kevin that we recently received in an email from the missionaries who are serving at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. It's so good to have any contact from Kevin. When you can't contact someone, it makes you miss them even more! I find myself having a greater sense of appreciation for our service men and women now that my brother is included in that group. I love his guts!