This is the ONLY
time I will use full names otherwise I use initials in my journal entries.
Let me introduce “Grandma Van”. This is “Grandpa Van’s” wife. Her name is Verla Christene Van Arsdale. For the past four years now, I have been calling her “Grandma Van” right along with her now deceased husband Bill Lowry Van Arsdale. I miss “Grandpa Van” very much yet this day because his death is yet new and something to get used to. It is not like my maternal grandparents being gone since 1997 and 2003. Anyway, “Grandma Van” has severe dementia – Alzheimer’s disease. She also cannot see as well as she once did at the age of 91 or 92. Her birthday is, Christmas Day, on the 25th of December. Anyway, “Grandma Van” is one person I appreciate with all my heart. I understand what Pastor Van and his wife, and family are dealing with when it comes to a mental illness because my “Grandpa Fox” had the same mental illness. “Grandma Van” makes me smile and understand that there is always hope in life at her age. She is a sweet woman even though her surroundings are not remembered anymore.
Of the past four years, I have to say that I have seen “Grandma Van’s” memory decline even though I have wished it not to happen to her like it did to my grandfather. I would not wish memory loss on anyone and that includes my worst enemy – seriously. Although, I would like to say that seeing “Grandma Van” today was a great joy! Pastor Van’s sister Cherie Forsythe and her husband Lee picked “Grandma Van” before they picked me up to go over to Pastor Van’s and CV’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma was talkative and sometimes she did not make any sense. That is the downfall of the disease. It is sad!! When Grandma did make sense, she was comical and her sense of humor was amazing and made five of smile and chuckle because she does come out clear. Otherwise she is only mumbling about something. Today, while her daughter and son-in-law where helping her eat, she would make faces like a child would when it came to the airplane coming in for a landing. She was like, “nope” and turned away. Her facial expressions were priceless.
Now, I am not here to make fun of a person with memory issues because of my Grandpa Fox having memory issues for a few years before he passed away. My Grandpa had child-like behavior as well when it came to having a sucker. He would suck on a sucker until it was gone and he had the face of a child who was given his favorite treat. Being with the Van Arsdale family, along with the Forsythe’s was worth it another fine year!