Remember when Grandma was still around
Still young at heart, so wise and beautiful?
Eighty years old but able to astound
With an elegance indisputable
She held both young and old alike spellbound
Her inner grace was irrefutable
Such a keen mind - as sharp as a razor
Nothing ever seemed to shock or faze her

Then came drugs (a preventative measure)
Dozens a day to treat symptoms, they said,
Asthma, arthritis, and high blood pressure
Pills to be taken when fed, before bed,
Or anytime at our Grandma's pleasure
"Take as directed" the box labels read
Was it any wonder she got confused?
Even full-time carers became bemused

But she remembered, in detail, her life
As a young girl growing up by the sea
Free from parental restrictions and strife
Memories of climbing an apple tree
To crop ripe fruit with an old kitchen knife
Too impatient for the fruit to fall free
A child of nature - busy as a bee

But then Grandma started repeating things
Questions she'd asked us a minute before
And forgotten - which some more worry brings
Her short-term memory's gone and is no more
Our reactions to this behavior swings
From chuckles to it becoming a bore
To increasingly exasperated
Then, finally, we get irritated

"Let's face it she's as mad as a hatter"
Less sensitive relatives insisted
"Something's clearly wrong with her grey matter"
But others rejected and resisted
This diagnosis as idle chatter
Some faith in her sanity persisted
But, as time went on this, too, diminished
We began to feel that hope was finished

However, research revealed surprises
Alzheimer's and dementia not the same?
Modern medical thinking advises
That dementia is an umbrella name
For its many forms and emphasizes
Alzheimer's alone should not shoulder blame
Although what is incontrovertible:
All dementia is irreversible

Like tide and time, it can't be prevented
Eroding both matter and existence
Leaving cared for and carers demented
Despite all their efforts and persistence
Trying to avoid being resented
While giving unqualified assistance
Remember, dementia has no curing
Thus, the cared for need love that's enduring

Where did Grandma go? One could write a tome.
We visit her religiously each week
In that very expensive nursing home
Where she lies almost unable to speak
(Her lovely curly hair could use a comb)
When she asks: "Who are you?" - the outlook's bleak
Gran nibbles another choccy biscuit
We would like her home - but couldn't risk it

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I didn't know my grandparents and my mother died when I was three years old. So, my mother-in law was the perfect replacement for them. She was so lovely in every sense of the word. We all miss her terribly.