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a great loss

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A role model, a saint, or a wonderful friend you can call her whatever you please but never find the correct words. She was simply indescribable. Caring and trustworthy yet able to be carefree and fun-loving, so quite simply put she was Nancy M. This is the story of a remarkable woman who I am proud to say was my great-grandmother.

She grew up in Florida, which fit her well. The summer sun was always welcomed and was probably to blame for a lot of her wrinkles later in life, because she would spend hours out in it enjoying the day. Later in life she was gifted with three children who were her pride and joy. But of these years of her life I do not know.

She was diagnosed with dementia when I was very young. The Encarta dictionary tells you that dementia is cognitive and intellectual deterioration, but I don’t think that’s the end of the story. From as early as I can remember we would go to visit her, and find her reading, thinking, or sleeping. She would tell us all hello in her friendly way. Then tell us a story of her past or talk of random things, but treat us all as strangers.

The older I got the more I understood that this woman was the same one I had heard all the stories about but she was loosing herself to that dreadful disease. So as the years went on her body started going along with her mind, and she looked so fragile. Our visits started getting further and further in between till we barley went at all. We kept telling ourselves that she did not know us, and it made no difference to her whether we were there or not. Then when I was in eighth grade at Ocoee middle school care-free and naïve preparing to go to my first dance a valentine dance, I got the news. She was very sick. With what I no longer remember, but I was terrified. All my life she had been there, and all at once she might not be anymore.

I skipped the dance, but I was too scared to go see her. I wanted to remember her the way she was, and from what I heard we had completely lost her now. My parents came and went for three days not saying much of what was going on. Then after all the anxiety she was “stable” again, but after that we never went to her again. She was gone. The Nancy we all had known was no where to be found.

That thought came true only one year later. That day I will never forget. I was hanging out with a few of my friends at the local mall, and my dad called and told me “I’m outside come on” I replied with “but you said I got to stay till…” he cut me off and silenced me by saying “your nanas passed away come ON your leaving”. I ran out of the mall crying my eyes out.

Then less than a week later I found myself in Florida sitting in the old church where she used to play the piano during services. She was gone the life that we had all treasured in its prime was gone and would never be seen again. Not in this world.





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