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!)


Misty said...

Michelle, I know how you feel! I can't watch that movie at all! It makes me think of my granny. Luckily, she's still got some time left, but she's starting to deteriorate pretty quickly, and it kills me. She always knows who I am, but not many other people. We went to lunch today, and she kept asking me where grandpa was. He was sitting right across the table. It breaks my heart, because I know that she has to feel so lost, confused and frustrated. I, too, wanted my grandparents to see me married, and meet my grandbabies. I know now that most likely won't happen for my granny, unless I get pregnant before I'm married, and even then, she won't remember the baby. I hate Alzheimer's! If you ever need someone to talk to about it, call me! We can be our own support group! P.S. I'm teary just thinking about it!

justmecassi said...

My grandma is beginning the long journey down this same road, so I know how you feel (or eventually I will when she gets to this stage). Sometimes I Notebook myself and also can't make it through.

On a lighter note...remember when we watched it together and I'd already seen it 3 times, but had never seen the ending? I always shut it off when it goes dark, thinking the movie was over!