Mom helped Gramie blow her candles out.
This afternoon was a precious memory I will always remember and hold dear. I hadn't seen Gramie in four years and while we were away my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She has moved into a lovely home with several other elderly women and caretakers. It was so neat to hear how well they take care of her - they paint her fingernails, do her makeup and hair every day, and the home is beautiful.
I was prepared for the worst, that Gramie might not recognize me and even ignore me. Instead, when we arrived she recognized my mom and dad right away and you could see in her face that she knew who they were. And each time we told her we loved her, she replied with, "I love you too."
My dad's sister and brother and their spouses came too. We ate birthday cake, drank sparkling cider, and helped Gramie open a few simple gifts. I was immensely thankful that Gramie had such a good day that she could recognize us and enjoy the company. I'm realizing that things change while we're away and life speeds along, but it makes those moments when we're together, so happy and unforgettable.