The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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The moment Rachel started telling me about her Grandie, a smile spread across her face and she would pause and laugh every now and then as she recalled the memory.  Although her Grandie had Alzheimer’s, she never talked about his disease in a way that made her seem upset or angry.

It was always a difficult process bringing my granddad out to lunch but we never complained.  He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was around eleven or twelve and he didn’t remember much anymore.  He used to be the deacon in his church and everybody loved Grandie.  I always wished I had more time with him…more time to get to know him, but eleven years is better than nothing.

The sun was shining mercilessly on us in Hill Country as my family and I carefully put my Grandie into the car.  He was wheelchair bound and because of this, we all knew where we would be going to lunch without even speaking it aloud.  Chilis.  It was one of the only places that had wheelchair access, which is sad to say, but we appreciated anytime we got with Grandie, even if that meant visiting Chilis once every week.

As my father drove down the familiar rode, surrounded by endless greenery, to Chili’s, he turned on “I’ll fly away,” one of Grandie’s favorite church songs, and my entire family began singing along.  We all escaped into our own worlds as we sang.  Our voices filled the car and took us somewhere far away.  As we continued to sing, I looked over to Grandie and saw that his lips were moving.  At first I didn’t understand what he was saying, but after a few seconds his voice became clear and he began singing confidently along with us.  And in a snap moment I realized that he remembered.    

“Go Grandie!” I exclaimed as a smile spread across my face.  He transformed before my eyes; he was just a regular person again.  No Alzheimer’s.

Go Grandie!

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