In early November, Mimi, my Grandmother, had a stroke. She was taken to David Grant Hospital at Travis AFB where she was taken excellent care of for nine days. The doctors told my Aunts that she can no longer live alone. For a woman as strong willed as Mimi, this was not going to be easy. After a week or so at the convalescent home where her husband is she moved to Lodi to live with my Aunt and her family. Today, I went to visit Mimi. When I walked through Hope’s house Mimi was reading through Christmas cards and get well letters. She was looking at pictures and asking me to identify family members.
The stroke has had some affect on her memory. It is sad to think that she may not remember who I am, but it must be scary for her to be going through this. After a few minutes of talking with her I could tell she remembered who I was. She talked about my “beautiful” wife, our “tall” daughter and the one with the “red hair”. Those descriptions were all I needed to know she knew exactly who I was. Of course, she kept looking at me and calling me her “handsome”, a name she has called me for many years (no cracks about her eyes going bad... she can see just fine).
After spending some time just talking with Mimi and going through her speech therapy excersizes, my Aunt Hope mentioned that she had started speaking Italian. Mimi’s parents were born in Italy and they all spoke Italian as children. She hasn’t spoken Italian (except for the random single word) in at least 50 years. I asked her to speak to me in Italian and to my amazement, she just flipped the switch in her brain and speaking in beautiful Italian.
The stroke has also really affected her ability to speak. She in understandable but sometimes the wrong word comes out. The doctors told my Aunt that the stroke likely unlocked that part of her memory.
The thirty minutes I spent with Mimi was amazing. I had such a wonderful time with her. I hardly understood any of the Italian but hearing her speak it brought tears to my eyes.
In the middle of our conversation I pulled out my iPhone and recorded it.
I love you Mimi.
Family is Forever!