Tag Archive | grandparents

“Idle Hands”

DSC_6478bwProbably not the right phrase, but a fitting title.  These hands.  The hands of an idle woman.  One whom sits in a chair with no place to go.  No mind of where she is.  Nothing to do other than to live in the world that her mind has created.

These hand on this particular day, they were not so much idle as much as they were busy.  Busy shooing away only creatures that she could see.  Busy trying to get invisible bugs off her pants or scrub away stains only she could see.  Hands that were constantly busy, moving, fidgeting.

These hands of a woman that once used to help my grandpa cook up a storm on the holidays.  The hands of a woman that were never necessarily loving but always caring.  With that, I’m sure I am not the only one who knows those kinds of hands.

Aged hands.  Idle hands in their own sense, in their own way.  A beautiful picture none the less, and I hope that you agree.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

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“Sign of the Times”

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My grandpa’s watch sits comfortably on aged arms. Wrinkles show the years. All the time that has passed. I’m not sure that there was a time when I did see him as anything but old, but when you are a kid everyone older seems old. The difference between now and then is that the man I once considered old, I now realize his age and the limits of time.

I’d like to say that I will take every second I can, but the truth is adulthood gets in the way.  He lives hours away and my choices have led me to a position where time is occupied by work, work, and more work.  Still, I will take the time that I can.  It is all that we can do.

I don’t know how many days are left. It is a thought that I try not to think of. It matters for nothing more than memories yet to obtain. With a man that seems ridiculously proud of a girl that is not proud of herself. A man that I am proud to call grandpa.

I hope that you enjoy the picture and that you are having an amazing day.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Through Grandma’s Eyes

DSC_6475Eyes in wonder of a mind long lost to the consequences of time.  That is what I see when I look in my grandmother’s eyes.  A mind in turmoil.  Saddened.  Lost.  Confused.  Scared.  Sometimes at peace and sometimes filled with anger.  All the stages that someone with Alzheimer’s go through.  At least I reckon so.

We don’t honestly know what goes on in someone’s mind.  Not when they are lucid so definitely not when the sands of time have taken their toll.

I wonder what is behind these eyes.  Is she trapped in a world where she knows what is going on but cannot break through?  Something similar to “Locked in” syndrome.  Is she just as lost in her own mind as much as she appears to be?  Does she know that her mind is fading?  Did she know?

It would seem her days of knowing us at all have completely gone.  She still seems to recognize my grandpa, or at least has an idea of his importance to her.  She is often concerned about him getting in trouble. When I am there, she’s constantly telling him that he needs to get home, or that he needs to get to bed.  That he shouldn’t be up there.  We laugh, but I know we all hold our sadness.  The mind of a woman we love is long gone from the woman we knew.

My grandpa still sits with her ever day.  I would expect no less.  They have been married for almost 70 years.  Fools tell him he needs a break.  He probably does, but the love of his life is not at home, she is there-in a nursing home.  One that should be reprimanded for many of reasons.  He is there because she is there.  He is there to make sure she is taken care of…the way that it should be.  I would want that.  And again, I would expect no less from the man I call grandpa.

I took these pictures yesterday.  I did what I consider heavy editing.  I wanted them to reflect the sadness, the loss, the emptiness, and yet…the beauty I see when I look at them. I hope that I was able to portray that in these photos.  Most importantly, I hope that you like them too.  DSC_6476
Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

A Face….

DSC_0282bwOf dementia.  This face.  My grandmother’s face.  Helen.

She’s in her late 80s and she and my grandfather have been married almost 70 years.  This is a face four years in the making.  Several years ago, she fell and broke her hip.  From working clinicals in a nursing home, I knew that it would be the beginning of the end.  Sometime later, she broke her pelvic bone.  She can no longer walk very well on her own.  She sits in a chair most the time.  My grandfather is her caretaker.  He, too, is in his late 80s.

They have always had the kind of marriage that I would have hoped to have.  It .is rare to be married as long as they have been. At least in today’s day and age.   They bicker. They love. At least once upon a time. These days, he loves and she fights.  I know that somewhere in that mind she is aware of what is going on and she’s angry.  She’s scared and my grandpa catches the brunt of that….because he is the one that is there and he’s the one that stands by her side.

DSC_0215This face doesn’t recognize me most the time.  When she does, she remembers the child me.  The one with pigtails.  She once said I was too young to talk to her when my grandpa tried to give her the phone.  I laughed, because I knew….and it was okay.  She’s still my grandmother, but now she is also someone else.  The hardest thing for me sometimes is watching my dad.

For the longest time, he was in denial.  Everyone, but me, was.  They thought that it was just the meds that she was on.  I tried to tell them the truth, but you cannot tell people what they do not want to hear.  Now it is evident.  Every time he is there. Every time my grandpa calls so that my daddy and convince grandma that he is alive and well.  She confuses him with my uncle, whom is dying of cancer.  That will be another post another time, one that may or may not have pictures.

I became one of those people who let life get in the way. I never meant to be that person, but it happened anyway. In small part because of finances.  They live in Illinois, which is only a short drive from here but $50 a gas tank makes it difficult to travel there often. Working as much makes it difficult.  I know I am not alone on this, and this was not a whine. It is reality. It has made me that little girl who my grandmother remembers, because that is the one she saw the most.  Even a younger 20ish me. but not the adult me. The one that let life get in the way.

DSC_0222I apologize. I think that the feelings that I have tried to muster up, were actually hidden and came to the surface when I look at these pictures.  I took them, yes, but there is a difference between taking them and looking at them. They didn’t turn out the way that I wanted.  The lighting in my grandparents’ house is very yellowish and without flash, I struggled to get the lighting to do just what I wanted. Post editing made them even more frustrating and so I chose to go the black and white method.

The first picture of this post is my favorite. It is also the most heart wrenching for me, because I think that is the most powerful image that I could have taken of her. The colored one has the emotion, but the one posted…it is the emotion.

I have not known what to say. I have felt cold and heartless, because I’ve not had the words.  Maybe it is because the grandma that she has become, I was prepared. I knew.  Maybe it is because life did get in the way and I’m not directly affected, because I do not see her everyday.  Maybe it is just the reality and I didn’t know what to say, because there is nothing to say. What can you say?  My heart hurts, but sadly I am at that age in life where these moments are inevitable.  That is why I will just cherish what I have and just remember that everyday she is here is a blessing, but that it is also hard on her and that it is okay for her to let go.  But until she is ready, I will just smile and hold her hand and remind her every time that she ask that I am indeed her granddaughter.

DSC_0218.jpgI don’t know if you made it to the bottom. If you did, I don’t know what you took away from this post. I am not even sure that it conveyed what I wanted. Power. Emotion. Time. I just hope that whatever your day has in store that it is a beautiful one, today and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography