Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our sweet, sweet Grandma's!

For the past month or so our Grandma's have been on my mind. I have been anxious to go down to Cardston to see them. Kent's Grandma Jeana Stanford is 97 years old. My Grandma Ruth Woolf is 91 years old.  

Kent had the day off and we figured we had better take advantage of him having the day off by going down there. We had to literally drive down (the roads were not great-2 1/2 hour drive) and we stayed longer than we had planned as we didn't have much time as we had to be back in time for our kids. So we were there for roughly almost 2 hours. And then we drove home and by this time the roads weren't as bad thank goodness.

My Grandma hasn't been doing well health wise for a while now. But just recently she had shingles and it was just painful! She has dementia really badly and doesn't really know any of us anymore. 

I asked  her if Kent could take our picture together and she said that was fine. In the picture you can see that she is even smiling, but I think she was actually smiling at Kent because she would lit up like a Christmas tree when she would look at him or if he said something to cute!
 Her bed wouldn't sit up (the buttons weren't working on it) so this is the best we could do. I LOVE this precious lady!

Oh how I wish I lived closer so I could visit her more often and help take care of her. She is the sweetest lady! She was alert and talked quite a bit with us. Which lately I have been told she sleeps the majority of the we were lucky she was so alert for us. 

I took our family picture down off of her wall to show her my family. I pointed us all out and told her our names. She looked at me and said,
"you are blessed"  

and then smiled at me and just starred at me. I smiled back and told her I agreed!

I gave her water to drink and put chap stick on her lips. My Grandma loves to have her hands and feet rubbed with lotion. She has severe arthritis so it feels so good to have them rubbed. I put lotion on her and she quickly pulled her hand out of mine and commented that my hands were cold ha ha. Sorry Grandma, my hands are ALWAYS cold!! 

When I was done rubbing lotion on her hands we just sat there holding each others hands for a while smiling at one another. She then asked me if I had worked there long =) I told her no and then I said teasingly,

"Grandma, it's me, Barbara, your favorite Granddaughter"

my Grandma smiled and said, 

"oh yes"  
(she said it sarcastically and with a mischievous smile)

and then she laughed! It was great to see her sense of humor come out and be able to have fun with her that way. I miss my Grandma! While we were holding hands I told her I was Gayla's daughter and that Gayla was on a mission and missed her a lot and wanted me to give her a big hug and kiss from her. So I did right then and Grandma said with a smile, 

"oh, that was a good one, thank you". 

I couldn't help but laugh and then we both just sat there starring into each others eyes and smiling. No words were said, just quiet. I got teary eyed and then I noticed Grandma looked teary eyed. I don't know if she was feeling what I was feeling, but it was strong! Our hearts were connected and you could feel it. I told her I had to go and she thanked me for visiting her. She was tired. I tucked her in her bed and made sure she was warm and comfy. How great it was to do those little things for her. They are so small, but matter so much to her and it mattered SO much to me.

Grandma Stanford...
On our way down to Cardston Kent's Aunt Ruth let me know that Grandma Stanford had woken up that very Monday morning at 5:30 a.m. VERY confused and disorientated. The staff called Kent's other Aunt, Betty (who lives in Cardston) to tell her she had better come up.  Once we heard this we were even more thankful that we were on our way down there to see her.

Kent's Grandma has had amazing health and been so independent until just recently. She has shingles right now as well and is still hurting from them as the sores are still trying to heal. It was hard to see her in pain. Kent and I were SO surprised to see how much her health had changed and how different she is now. She was still confused and disoriented when we got there and would fall asleep extremely easily as she just couldn't keep her eyes open. She was eating though, so that is good.

Grandma Stanford has always been a such a strong woman. She didn't know who we were. But she did remember our son Cole and who he was when we explained that we were his parents. She said, 

"yes, he is the one that makes me things and likes to draw like me. I have drawn things for him to ya know!" 

Cole was pretty proud that she remembers who he is and no one else there.  =)

She told Kent that Russell (her son, Kent's Dad who passed away 18 months ago) hadn't been down to see her for a while and by the tone of her voice she wasn't too happy about that. Aunt Ruth was telling us how Grandma had told her one time when she had gone to sleep that, 

"I was in limbo!" 

And they asked her what that meant and she said,

"I was stuck between here and there" 
(meaning the present and Heaven).

Hearing that gave me goosebumps. She would join in our conversations while we were there and then fall asleep. Anytime she fell asleep she was really restless, constantly moving her hands like she was doing things. Or she would mumble things constantly and even slightly open her eyes and be having a conversation with someone. 

Kent's Aunt Ruth and her husband Morley were there with Grandma Stanford as well as his Aunt Betty. It was good to see them and be able to visit with them.

Kent's Grandma Stanford and my Grandma Woolf are both in the same nursing home in Cardston.These Grandma's are so ready to move on and for some reason they are still here with us. As much as we are wanting them here, we want them to be happy and not in any pain anymore. They are both wanting to be with their husbands who have passed on years ago. 

It was extremely hard to say goodbye to them both. After we said our goodbyes and walked away I cried. I cried because I wish I could help them more and be there. I wish they didn't have to hurt and be so confused and stuck in these bodies that just aren't working anymore for them. I cried because that could have been the last time I got to kiss them and tell them I love them! But, at least we got down there and we did get to see them, cause you just never know!


Sheri said...

Loved this, made me teary. You are such a good person.

Gayla Woolf Holt said...

Dearest Barb...daughter dear...a million thanks for loving Grandma for me too on your visit. I shed some tears reading this and loved that you posted it with pictures. Both ladies are remarkable and wonderful women, wives, mothers and grandmothers.
They are so loved.
Barb, you have a heart of gold to even want to drive to Cardston for a day visit and rush home again. Bless you. And as for your wonderful husband coming with you, well...I am running out of space to write but he is definitely a keeper!
Love you both! Mom

Lynn said...

Oh Barb.

You and Kent are the sweetest grandchildren ever! Not many grandmas or grandpas get a visit from even their own children in nursing homes. My mom was an RN for over 45 years and saw the decline in visits from family members.

Your grandmas are so BLESSED to have you in their lives. Not many would make that trip for even just a couple of hours. Thank goodness you were listening to the spirit when you felt you should go.

I laughed when you said your grandma was shocked at how cold your hands were. Too cute. I probably would have had the same reaction. I try to avoid shaking hands at church with anyone, because I get the same reaction. Sometimes it's so embarrassing to have such cold hands! LOL!

Cold hands.....warm hearts. Right?! ; D

P.S. You are smart to have gotten pictures, even when it's not that convenient. Time stands still when we have precious pictures that last a lifetime.

Laura G said...

I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I read about Grandma. I sure love her too.