There's something wrong and I don't know Gran had seemed fine, just a bit slow. I heard Mum whispering to Dad, I saw her face, she looked so sad.
I heard them say they were concerned, she'd cooked some chops until they burned. She had gone out and got quite lost, and she'd got cold out in the frost.
Gran always made my favourite sweet, a trifle for my weekly treat. But last time she just looked quite blank, I saw Mum's face and my heart sank.
Dementia was the word she'd said, It seemed to fill her up with dread. I asked and she just turned away, she didn't know what she should say.
Sometimes Gran seemed just like before, I didn't know what was in store. Then a kind nurse tried to explain, what was happening in her brain.
She told me Gran might still recall, but in her head there was a wall. It blocked her thoughts from getting through, and robbed her of the things she knew.
And every day it barred the way. She wouldn't know what she must say. It would get worse, we must stay strong. She wouldn't know what's right or wrong.
But sometimes we would find a door, built in the wall, we must explore. We'd need to find the key and then, we'd find a glimpse of Gran again.
The key might be her favourite song, sing it out loud, smile and be strong. Or she might like to stroke a dog, she might remember in the fog.
A key might be some time to share. Look through old photo's, show you care. or even make her special drink, the door may open just a chink.
Don't be afraid to make her laugh, or buy her bubbles for her bath. Try to be patient and be kind, think of that wall built in her mind.
And sometimes you won't find a way of reaching her day after day. But she's still there behind that wall. The doors are there, they may be small.
Remember she is still inside, and think of her life with joy and pride. We never know what is in store, she may not know you any more.
Dementia robs just like a thief, but we know what they're like beneath. And we must hold on to those keys, and put their troubled minds at ease. Jan Millward©