A Portrait of Dementia

Cynthia Day held her Grandfather’s hand as he spoke. She knew that he would one day forget her name, or that they even had this conversation.

“I am just going to enjoy this moment as long as I can,” her Grandfather said.

“Me too. Grandpa, I love you.”

“I love you so much too, dear girl. Now you make sure you take good care of your family and that child of yours.”

“I will Grandpa.”

“I’m so glad to be a part of this family,” he said.

Cynthia’s Grandfather was having more bad days, and the few moments of clarity that he had she cherished. The good days would become fewer as his disease advanced. It was something that she and her Grandfather understood.

Cynthia and her family sang one last song together, as she played the guitar. Her Grandfather sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, “along with the family- one of the few songs her Grandfather still remembered. He had a twinkle in his eye, as he watched his Great-Grandson sing along with him. For once everything seemed perfect, as if he was re-living his youth, back in time singing songs with his own children.

That day when Cynthia’s parents took her Grandfather back to the nursing home, he had tears in his eyes. She tried to hold back her tears because she knew she had to be strong for her Grandfather- who at times became scared on the bad days, because he didn’t understand who or where he was.

There would be bad days. But today, was a good day.

So, that day- Cynthia decided to live in the moment, because it was never guaranteed.

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