In case you didn't know, my Granny, a 4'9" Chinese woman with a passion for dancing and who once possessed a talent for making all of her own clothes, has spent the summer with me and my family. She has alzheimer's, deaf in one ear, and doesn't speak a vast amount of English. For the past few days I've been looking after her, making her meals, taking her out to lunch/ice-cream, taking her shopping at Goodwill and giving her simple activities to do to help her pass the time living in the suburbs. She misses her home in the city of San Fransisco and complains that there is nothing to do here. At her age, without a retirement home and a lot of money, she's pretty much got this place pinned. This is why I resort to writing, arts and crafts, and reading books and blogs about fashion. Granny resorts to TV, unless I give her something to do like wound knitting yarn, ironing, and folding laundry -- pretty much anything that doesn't affect her arthritis, which prevents her from knitting with me.
She calls me "Isabelle" and whether it's because she can't pronounce Elisabeth or she actually thinks that's my name I'll never know. My mother has explained to me that even though Granny can't name the date, remember if she went shopping with me the day before, or forget the cup of tea she had asked for minutes ago, she still has a memory for several things. Examples include knitting and sewing (even though she can't work with her hands anymore), cooking Chinese food, and every dance move she's ever learned. I find it fun that even though she cannot read English, she can read the price tags and sizes on clothes.
Spending so much time with my Granny makes me think -- what will I remember if I start to lose my memory? Even if I forget where I am, will I still be able to play the highest points possible on my Scrabble rack like my Grandfather? Even if I begin to not recognize familiar faces, will I still be able to recite the lyrics to The General? The most popular colors of fashion for the current season? (They're olive tones, red, deep purples, grey, and camel, by the way.) The speech I gave to calling applicants when I worked at my summer job in NYC?
Hopefully I'll still know how to knit. I feel like reading and writing will stay prominent with me, but knitting is a priceless skill to have when I become old and have to sit around for most of the day.
I've decided the next entry will be about knitting.