Thursday morning is when Gran come to play with James, and my elder daughter and grandson come for lunch. It is a hectic day, but very pleasant, and we look forward to it. Gran has Alzheimer's disease - a living death by degrees. It is advancing slowly but surely and every now and then we notice with a jolt that another piece of her has gone missing. Today as we enjoyed a leek and potato tortilla, green salad with a honey dressing, she said "That was lovely - I really must start learning how to cook." This woman has inspired me to do many things in life, but one of the most important things I learned from her was how to cook. From baking jam tarts to helping with her "Greek nights" she allowed me into her kitchen and pretty much gave me free reign from an early age. When I was 14, she bought me the Reader's Digest Cookery Year, which is in constant use to this day. Her meals were delicious and quite imaginative for central Scotland in the 60s and 70s. "Oh Mum - you are the best cook!"
We still have her, though, and for that we are thankful. James has only ever known his Gran with AD - not the strong, creative, organised and capable woman my older children, niece and nephews knew. But somehow, from a tiny tot, he has had a special bond with her, and they play, draw and read books for long spells of time. My Dad remarked the other day how gentle and patient James was with her. I read on Sunnydaytodaymama's blog the other day, the famous passage from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran - Your children are not your children:
You may strive to be like them, bur seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
I will strive...