Saturday, January 14, 2012

Known

"I'm your granddaughter," I said, concentrating on having a cheerful tone of voice despite the shock I suddenly felt at not being recognized, not being known.

"You are?" Gramma replied in awe.

I nodded, smiling. "Yep, I am."

"Well. I'll be darn," Gramma said.

I went on to explain to her that I was named after her, I look more like her than I do like my own mother, and we have the same personality, routines, quirks, and habits.

"Well," she said, "I'm sure you're right, but I never even knew you existed until tonight."

Loss. A part of me was stricken.

But even though she couldn't quite figure out who I was, Gramma was very familiar with me and freely gave me hugs and kisses. She knew she should have been able to remember me, but she just couldn't.

The next day was better.

"What's her name?" Gramma asked Mom.

"Becky," Mom reminded her.

"Becky. That's right. I don't know why I can't remember that. It's the same name as my daughter."

"It's the same name as your granddaughter," Mom prompted.

"I'm your granddaughter," I supplied cheerfully, now over the shock of the loss and enjoying watching Gramma get to know me. "You're thinking of me!"

An hour later, Gramma asked Mom, "Am I her grandmother?"

"Yes!" Mom cheered. Victory! Then I had a great time telling her about my sons, where I live, where I was born, and how we're related.

Later, when my aunt called, Gramma told her, "Did you enjoy meeting our new daughter? I'm sure glad she came for a visit because if she hadn't, I would never have known she existed!"

When she made that comment, my mom looked at me quickly, eyes full of concern, hoping I wouldn't feel hurt. I wasn't. And I tried to explain... it was sad that Gramma didn't know me, but it was beautiful that she wanted to know me. Her affection for me was so strong and deep. It transcended her memory.

And then, wonder of wonders, this morning, Gramma came out in her pajamas and said, "Becky? Well, hi! How are you?" And she gave me a big hug. An "I missed you and it's great to see you again" hug. A "my granddaughter is here visiting" hug. And when Mom said, "This is my daughter," Gramma nodded and said, "Yes, I know!"

Gramma knows me today. That makes me happy.

But I'm just visiting for a few days. My mom is here all the time, and sometimes, Gramma knows she's her daughter, and sometimes, she thinks Mom is just a random caregiver. Sometimes Mom is known, sometimes she is not. Every day is different. My mama is either hanging out with her mama, or totally and completely unknown.

Gramma herself isn't always known. "What's your name?" my mom asks.

"Well, I think it's Doris, but darned if I know," Gramma replies.

But in the midst of all of this, Gramma talks about God. She doesn't know herself, but she knows Him. And He knows her. And He knows my mama. And He knows me. And He will never leave us, and never forsake us, and never forget us. This weekend, it is my Gramma who has brought that straight to the forefront of my mind.

"I sure wish I weren't like this," she said gently on my first night here. And then out of her mouth came the Holy Spirit piercing my heart with the sword of truth. "But I'm sure God knows what He's doing. If He doesn't, nobody does."

I stared at her, stunned. She knows she's losing her memory, she feels useless, she is nearly blind, she needs help to do basic daily tasks, and her every day is filled with confusion.

But what does she say?

I'm sure God knows what He's doing.

And check out the magnet on Gramma's fridge:



But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

~Isaiah 43:1-3a

We are known to God. And He is taking care of everything.