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My sunshine

88 years ago the world grew a little brighter with the birth of my Grandma aka GG. Donna King She’s from New York spent some time in Germany, she drove a motorcycle, rode horses, played softball, had a bit of a wild side, liked to paint, she worked hard, loved to sing and ended up having 6 kids, one being my Mom.

Growing up we always went to grandmas for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, all the kids, grandkids, Aunts, Uncles, cousins it was a packed house every time we came together, full of laughter and love, with the occasional bickering. She lived down the road from us so I went and seen her all the time. I vividly remember the smell of her house, the quirky nick nacks she had everywhere, the sound the wind chimes made lining her front porch, the soap operas constantly playing in the living room.

Grandma had an open door policy I never knocked going into her house and I was always welcome. All the neighborhood kids knew and loved her as well they even called her grandma too. She never knew a stranger. She had a ceramic shop behind her house she would pour molds, bake in the kiln, paint and sell. Her and mom spent a lot of time out there working. Mom always done beautiful realistic pieces like Indians, deer and birds while grandma done mostly cutesy things like Valentine’s Day heart, Easter egg guys and snowman icicle ornaments. I distinctly remember the smell of the paint and the clay and how when you cleaned the molds it would dry out your hands.

My grandma was a huge part of my childhood. We would go to lake James and stay in her camper, she’d take me shopping and I’d go to church with her. Man all the memories. I miss those days.

I always loved my grandma however I never truly new her until she started to need me. Back in 2010 she was widowed and we all started to realize something else was up, she was forgetful, messing up on paying her bills or not paying them at all, not remembering talking to someone, not taking her medicine or driving around not remembering where she was going. She has Alzheimer’s. She moved in with my aunt for a couple years then with me. We would stay up late watching tv and talking, going on road trips to explore, go check out old cemeteries, I would cook dinner and she’d pull up a chair and talk keeping me company. Unfortunately she broke her ankle falling out of the shower and ended up needing surgery which progressed her Alzheimer’s even more she had to move into a long term care facility. It’s been hard but gg has the kindest demeanor she’s always so sweet and go with the flow.

Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease especially for the family, the first stages was hard on her she kept thinking she had to get back home to her deceased husband or watch the grandkids. Many times she thought she was in the hospital or in jail. I could always calm her down and redirect her, but still it was sad. I hated seeing the confusion and anger. As the disease progressed those episodes decreased but so has everything else, she’s in the final stages. I hate Alzheimer’s it’s slowly taking my grandma from me but at the same time I’m actually grateful for it, it allowed me to truly bond and get to know her.

See I think as we age and grow old I believe sicknesses such as Alzheimer’s, copd, cancer, heart disease etc. are Gods way of giving the family one more shot to bond, to grow to spend quality time with their loved ones. It humbles them, makes them show compassion makes them put someone else’s needs above their own.

Gg is my sunshine, my inspiration, through all her hard ships in life she just rolled with it, her famous motto is “oh well, it is what it is” and how true that is. There ain’t anything you can do about what life throws you, other than just keep on swimming.

Grandma happy birthday beautiful I am so honored to be your grand baby, grateful for all of the memories I have and blessed to have you in my life for all these years. You’re the best.

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