A New Year

Rosy Radiant Star

I finished this early yesterday morning. I was ecstatic to have it done. Now, I can start something new.

Classes start up next week. It will be my last quarter at the University of Washington… for now. I may come back for a Master’s degree, but I really want to get back into the work force. I am excited to get this quarter over with.

The holiday season has been an interesting one. I did not mention this earlier, but my grandmother showed new behaviors one Christmas. At least twice before dinner, she got on the floor on her hands and knees and started picking up little pieces of whatever she saw. This was despite us assuring her we had a vacuum that could be used if she was that concerned about it. She also started dusting stuff out in the kitchen. On a few different occasions, she was in the kitchen and an appliance would be mentioned and she was found to not know what those appliances were. For example, my grandfather said he would like a cup of coffee. Since he has trouble getting up and around, someone usually goes into the kitchen and fetches some coffee for him. Especially with our man-eating couches. Before we could stop her, Grandma got up and took his cup into the kitchen. After a moment of not hearing anything I turned to my brother, who was sitting closest to the kitchen, and asked him to make sure she found the coffee pot. Mom also went into the kitchen. My grandmother was found standing there staring as though lost in the middle of the room. The most disturbing thing, though, was what she did to my other brother. My grandmother has always been big on manners. My brother got a book he really wanted for Christmas and was reading it in the living room. At one point, our grandmother walked up and slapped her hand down on his book where he was reading. He gently lifted her hand away and tried to continue, but she did it again. When he told her that he did not find it funny, she started mocking or teasing him. My brother thankfully decided it was not worth upsetting other members of the family by arguing with her. He got up and left the room, leaving my grandmother distressed that he now hated her. Of course, my other brother walked out of the bathroom right then and she asked if she should apologize to him. My grandmother has never acted that way, even when my brothers and I were younger. According to Mom and at least one of her sisters, my grandmother never did that with them, either. It is a troubling development.

There are times I would like to see into her head and figure out where she is in there. She seemed to think she and Grandpa had been elsewhere earlier in the day. She also seemed to think they had brought separate vehicles. My grandmother, thankfully, has not driven a car in at least a year. I fear she would get lost and hurt. She was also constantly worried about whether or not they had fed their cats before coming to our house. She was taken aback when I told her that there was enough food down for the cats to last well into the next day. She does not remember that I have watched after their cats and house when they have been out of town. In fact, I am not sure she truly remembers who I am. She puts on a front, but it is getting more and more difficult for her to cover up her memory gaps. At least my grandfather seemed to enjoy spending time with us. It is difficult to see my grandmother in this condition, but I am glad to spend what remaining time we have with her, no matter how much she deteriorates.

As for the rest of the holidays, it has been relatively quiet. Mom got a bad cold right before New Year’s, so I have been trying to avoid catching that.

My brother has had more trouble with his car in the past week. I got a call before 0800 yesterday morning after his car overheated on his way home from work and died. Fortunately, he was able to get off the interstate before the car died. I picked him up from his apartment a couple hours later after his car had time to cool down. It took us several minutes to get the car jumped and started, but we managed to limp it over to the auto shop. The water pump had gone out. My brother was not thrilled. He had been asking the people there for a while whether or not the pump should be replaced and they kept assuring him it could wait. It was fixed around noon today. I am hoping there are no further issues for a while.


About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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