I am twenty-four years old. Twenty-four days ago my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s Disease. The song “24” by Switchfoot has always been a favorite of mine. The lyrics are simply stunning:
Twenty four oceans
Twenty four skies
Twenty four failures
Twenty four tries
Twenty four finds me
In twenty-fourth place
Twenty four drop outs
At the end of the day
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty four hours ago
Twenty four days ago everything changed. It’s so hard to understand, even myself. Even with a disease like Alzheimer’s my grandma was so incredibly sweet. She loved everyone she met, famously telling me last year “I meet new people every day!” She loved my grandpa so very much. Even in her final days under the haze of morphine she brightened when he kissed her cheek, told her he loved her.
One of the last coherant things she said to me was “I’m so proud of you.” I cried then, and now, as I knew she would not be there for the rest of my life. She won’t be there if I get married or have children of my own. (Don’t tell her that; she believed I was married with a little girl!)
Having never lost someone who was so central to my life I don’t know how I’m handling her death. I don’t know if it’s normal or abnormal or even care at the moment.
I miss her. So very much.
One friend of mine came to the services. He came and we talked and it helped. For the last three years she was the one I talked to. About anything and everything because chances were she wouldn’t remember the next minute. I never got tired of telling her happy stories and watching her enjoy those fleeting memories.
Twenty-four years with an amazing, loving grandma is so much more than many people have.
Switchfoot ends their song with this verse:
I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I’m singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And You’re raising the dead in me
Twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts.
I don’t know what the next twenty four years or even twenty four days or hours will bring me. But I will try to make grandma proud whatever comes my way.