When I was growing up, I had two parental figures in my life. My single and hard working mother, and my grandmother (from here on out I’ll call her by her real name, Gran-Gran).
Gran-Gran had a difficult job- dealing with a mouthy and stubborn little girl (me). She took me to endless ballet classes, swim meets, Nutcracker rehearsals, soccer games and would help me memorize pages and pages of dialogue for community theatre or enormous passages of the Bible for school. And I never heard her complain (although that doesn’t mean she didn’t send me to the backyard to find a switch to whip me when I talked back- which was often, no surprise there).
A fun little nugget about Gran-Gran: we call her the “sports savant” because to this day she can name any stat, player or score for the Cowboys, Mavs, and Rangers…from any year. If you talk during a Cowboys game, you are told to leave (needless to say, we don’t watch many Cowboys games together).
I am so fortunate to have built so many incredible memories with my Gran-Gran over the past 28 years and to have such a Godly woman to look up to.
Unfortunately, this past year, my darling Gran-Gran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Wanting to always be positive and full of sunshine, I refused to believe it. When I’d call her, she would know all the scores, game times and heckle me about being a fan of the worst team in baseball. In my mind, nothing had changed.
As the year has progressed, I’ve seen some changes in Gran-Gran that make my heart (in all it’s cold, black glory) hurt.
She’s 88 years old, and with Parkinson’s, she can’t get around quite like she used to. So you can imagine my surprise, when my mom called to tell me that Gran-Gran was going to do the Dallas Alzheimer’s walk (being pushed in a wheelchair). I immediately signed up to support the woman who had supported me unconditionally for the past 28 years.
My marathon training this week was fully dedicated to Gran-Gran. All 2.5 miles of the Alzheimer’s walk. And in all honesty, it was the most rewarding 2.5 miles of my life.
Enjoying my time with Gran-Gran after our “long run”.