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Looking at photos of her as a girl can be haunting, as if I am staring at myself from decades past.
I look similar to my father, so I was hoping this would play to my advantage.
When I was younger, my parents would take me to my grandparents’ almost every Sunday, alternating between our maternal and paternal grandparents’ houses.
My father is 57, my grandmother’s eldest child, and the first person called when she starts to have an episode.
That evening he was at work and wouldn’t have been able to make it to my grandmother’s for another hour.
On Christmas my father was Santa and even now, though the cousins are all over 18, we make him dress up, because the tradition has become very important to us. During family dinners, he would take out old photos of his grandparents and tell us all about them.
Even though I never met them, my father has told their stories so many times I can repeat them verbatim.She couldn’t be alone, yet she wasn’t ready (our family wasn’t ready) to put her in a nursing home.It took a while to find home aides who clicked with Grandma, so in between college and part-time jobs, each of the seven granddaughters took a day with Grandma.Access to society journal content varies across our titles.If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.My father didn’t have to force us; we knew from the way we had been raised that it was our generation’s turn to do our part.Grandma and I are similar in features, small women with olive skin, deep brown eyes and dark hair.I silently prayed that when my grandmother saw my face, her mood would change.Alzheimer’s has stolen her recollection of the people closest to her, but the face she always seems to remember is my father’s.The next year, he died, just a month shy of his 50th wedding anniversary, and after that, my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s grew more apparent.My father and aunt had hard decisions to make about her care.