Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chicago - Part One

The trip to Chicago was somewhat chaotic and stressful with the two girls, but I am so happy we went and it was such a blessing to be able to see family and friends while we were there. The main purpose of our trip was to see my grandma, Nana. Nana was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia about a year ago, after a few years of the doctors believing that she had Alzheimer's. Lewy Body Dementia is similar to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's in a lot of ways, but the disease has it's own distinct characteristics. Having had a grandpa with Lewy Body Dementia, I know that time is of the essence with my grandma. There will soon be a day where she will not know who we are and that day will break my heart. For now, she knows who we are... I cherish this time.

Aiyana was very excited to fly in an airplane... "up in the sky" as she would say. When she started to get restless in the airport, before we left Phoenix, I brought her to the window and showed her the airplane. She jumped out of my arms and ran past the crowd yelling, very enthusiastically, "Look there's an airplane... I'm going on the airplane... Up in the sky". I will never forget it. It was adorable and everyone in the airport who heard her just smiled from ear to ear at her excitement.

Aiyana pointing out the tall buildings from the balcony on Alisa's apartment.

Aiyana and Clara were making everyone nervous standing next to the glass on Alisa's balcony.
The Windy City

The downtown Chicago skyline from Alisa's apartment. I woke up to this view from my bed.

Nana was curled up on her bed and asleep when we arrived. She looked so sweet laying there. She had her coat on as if she was hoping to leave at any minute. My mom's sister placed my grandma in a memory care facility despite my mom's wishes to take care of her in her own home. Unfortunately my grandma's illness has caused quite a riff in the family with everyone having different ideas of what is best for Nana. It is really a sad situation. The only thing I can do is remind myself that Nana is being well taken care of despite her strong wishes to not be in a such a place. I wish she could be taken care of in her home as difficult as that is with her disease. That is what she would have wanted and it is what she deserves. She raised five girls by herself now it's time for her to be taken care of. There is so much to say here, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Kisses for Clara

The shadow box outside of Nana's room. It holds a picture of Nana in her prime ;o) and her girls that she loves so very much. The box also contains a cross with a quote and some paint brushes because my grandma loves to paint pictures. She is quite the artist.

This is my great grandpa Louis baby buggy. It is promised to my aunt Tracie because my Nana knows how much she wanted it. It currently sits at the foot of my Nana's bed.

The girls picking dandelions... We don't get those in Phoenix.

Aiyana being shy around her "other Nana" as she calls her ;o)

Alisa, Me, Nana & Mom... What a lovely day it was.

Alisa, Me, Dana, Clara, Nana, Mom, Aiyana & Al

Nana & I

Nana holding Clara. I should have included a picture of Nana playing with Clara's hair. I had too many and I had to narrow my picture selection down a bit. Anyway, Nana just loves her little grandchildren.

Three generations...

The tulips outside of the care facility were very pretty.

Kisses goodbye for now...


Jeri said...

Great post Amber. I love what you said and I love the pictures.

tbsomeday said...

you got some great pictures amber!
i'm glad you got some time with your family and enough pictures to remember every second i'm sure ;)

had to laugh at the columbia jacket part--i pictured a light jacket when i read it :)

the tulip shot was really beautiful!!