Anyone who has spent time in a nursing home with a loved one knows of the pain it can bring. I recently went to visit my paternal grandmother over the Thanksgiving holiday. I sat with her, fed her lunch, and listened to one of the other residents repeat “M…E…S” over and over again. My grandmother couldn’t speak in clear sentences and she didn’t give any implication that she knew who I was. She could barely sit up at the table.

Instantly I was brought back to the many years I sat with my maternal grandmother in her nursing home. I had to learn to be brave. While I was there I had to stay focused in the now, and not let my mind dig up precious memories from the past. That is easier said then done. It is extremely difficult to see frightening changes in someone and know that they will never be what they once were. Whenever I am in a nursing home, I am reminded of the value of life. I remember that change is coming whether I accept it or not.

I looked into my grandmother’s eyes and held her hand. Every time I wanted to cry I took a deep breath and tried to see through to her soul. I knew somewhere within the worn exterior was the strong Italian grandmother I knew. The brave woman who rarely left her home but traveled alone to California twice, to visit me. The grandmother that cooked incredible meals every holiday. The grandmother that called me Kris. The grandmother who always yelled “Mr. D!” when she wanted to get her husband’s attention. The grandmother who gave us pizzelle’s every Christmas. The grandmother I have always loved with all I am.



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The Picture Book Review

Reviews of Children's Board Books, Picture Books, Activity Books, and Graphic Novels

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