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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

clairol as cure-all

Yesterday we went to visit my Grandma C at her home. She was in the hospital a few weeks ago and her health has been getting worse lately due to a stroke. It was heartbreaking to see her slumped over and not able to hold herself up any longer. She cannot do much for herself anymore, not even wipe her nose/mouth with a tissue. As much as this saddened me there was something else that bothered me even more and if you knew my grandma at all you would understand.

She has a good 2-3 inches of gray roots that need touching up. I noticed them a few weeks ago at the hospital but dared not mention it since she was still fuming about being there, let alone how she looked. My grandma has always taken great pride in her appearance. She would not want you to come near her if her hair wasn't done or if her makeup was less than perfect. Even though she rarely leaves the house due to limited mobility, she still would wear slacks and shells in the house. If she were to leave she would quickly throw on a blazer, scarf and change her shoes- instantly ready for a day or night about town. Dig her stylin' 70's ensemble she wore to the hospital when I was born.

As she's gotten older she speaks less English and more Spanish. Even though my listening/reading comprehension are excellent, it takes me a while to get used to speaking. I could always understand her and respond even if my answers were short or took some time to formulate. Now it is tougher for her to get the words out and I have more trouble hearing them than understanding them.

Luckily I was sitting next to her when she said she did not want to color her hair. She said the girls, my aunts, were going to do it today but she told them not to bother. She did not see any reason to fix her hair. She was also wearing a t-shirt and lounge pants, the most under dressed I have seen her in all my life. Even if she had pajamas on she always wore a robe.

I can deal with the loss of her mobility, bowel control, some memory and a few of her motor functions. I'll even take an outburst here and there, but to watch her to lose her spirit and her character, that is what crushes me the most. She was still wearing makeup so I'll have to take that as a sign that she hasn't given up all hope just yet.

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