Monday, September 5, 2011


Grace transitioned this morning at 9:25. Her struggle with dementia is finished.

She taught me much. I now know patience is a decision made when I would prefer to walk away. I learned to release my grip on my agenda and listen to her expressed needs, garbled and vehement, but as legitimate as my own.

The person who thrived before dementia’s inroads took away her conversation skills still existed. She taught me to see the dead leaves and clutter beneath flower pots as offensive. Yet the pictures in her scrapbook are of lush dahlias and geraniums. She was a precise accountant and that mind set was evident as she made her bed and folded her napkin.

Before Grace, I did not know that death’s timing is off the clock. That it can nibble at your mind until it finally eats down into the brain stem, incautiously digesting the cells that on their own supply life to kidneys and lungs. Even in her loss she was gracious and easily smooched, “I like you.”

I did not know the danger in a nurse’s watch as it recorded seconds during which neither I nor Grace would ever breathe again.

Grace’s transition is complete. Mine without her has just begun. I miss you, dear one.

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