Love Is Not Forgotten

A woman's visit with her ailing grandmother confirms an eternal familial bond.

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- Posted on Oct 24, 2014

An elderly woman's hands are clasped lovingly by a younger woman's hands.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.—ISAIAH 49:15 (NRSV)
 

I walked into the special-care unit to see my grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. “Hi, Grandma Caryle,” I said, stooping to hug her.

She looked up, but there was no recognition in her face. She didn’t even hug me back.

“How are you feeling today?” I scooted close to her on the couch, speaking in an exaggerated, enthusiastic tone, attempting to cheer her up—and maybe myself too.

“Oh, fine,” she said automatically.

I made small talk about the weather, our family, and the antics of my daughter, her only great-grandchild. “Remember the time you and I went to California?” I asked. “It was my first plane ride.”

Grandma listened with interest as if hearing about the trip for the first time. “Of course, you’ve traveled all over the world: to Spain, Switzerland, Greece. Portugal was your favorite country.”

“I don’t remember.” My heart ached because this woman, who’d been a major part of my formative years, couldn’t remember her life.

Standing to go, I got up my nerve. “Grandma, do you know who I am?” My voice quivered.

Her brown eyes looked hard at my face. “I don’t remember your name,” she answered, “but I know you’re someone I love.”

Lord, others may forget, but you always remember.

 

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