He wrote a book with sensations and memories, before his memory was completely emptied

He wrote a book with sensations and memories, before his memory was completely emptied
He wrote a book with sensations and memories, before his memory was completely emptied
  • July 4, 2024
  • 02:04
  • 07 minutes Reading

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“Would my childhood have existed without you? I climb the highest tree I can find. I think about bringing you back, from here we can see all our memories. Snow, toast, the TV on your bed, nightgowns that reach down to your feet. I want someone to come and repair your memory. Let me record you for a while longer. I’m going to get a remedy that will make you immortal. When you fall asleep I approach your ear and repeat my name. Maybe that way you won’t forget it again. Our reflections are still there holding hands, look at that in the bathroom mirror.”

Cecilia Castillo (39) has very fresh memories of those unforgettable moments she shared with her grandmother Yeya, in a relationship that only the two of them can explain, but where unconditional love, complicity, continuous presence, lived adventures, and the entire childhood spring forth.

Cecilia, as a child, with her grandmother Yeya.

“My grandmother It is a hug and support on her big chest, when I was crying because mom had to go to work. It’s getting into bed with her, watching old soap operas, with toast with butter and sugar. It’s going to her huge patio with my friends from elementary school, sleeping in the back room and having her bring me milanesas with noodles. Going to grandma’s was the plan, it was a refuge for every grandchild who needed to leave home for some reason.”

Loving memories appear inexhaustibly in Cecilia’s heart, while Yeya, due to Alzheimer’s, seems to be fading away like when light bulbs start to short-circuit, like when the voltage drops, as her own granddaughter explains.

Cecilia speaks from the deep within his heart when referring to her grandmother, but when the pandemic began (and her condition worsened) she needed to connect with writing to vent that feeling of anguish and emptiness that she felt every time she left home.

Some emotional words that Yaya wrote to her granddaughter.

In those days, she began to write stories, memories and poems, a way she had and still has to deal with her illness, that eternal farewell of seeing how her mind deteriorates, even if her body does not reflect it. However, at first Cecilia did not foresee that those emotional texts would become a beautiful book.

“I think it was something more than a need to release all those feelings, thoughts and memories, before my grandmother’s memory is completely emptied. A way to leave a mark of memories. Also to be able to share with those who read it, the beautiful and beloved character that is my grandmother. And to contribute something, perhaps, to those who go through a similar situation.”

Yeah, Cecilia’s account, it was mischievous, elegant, fun, intense and leonine. She always had an anecdote similar to the one that a close relative told her. She also says that she was somewhat quarrelsome, especially with her grandfather.

“Grandma was a fighter, especially with grandpa,” Cecilia recalls.

“I imagine her lying on the box and I put a pile of poems on her chest. I sing them in her ear, just like when she hummed songs she made up to me so I could fall asleep, leaning on her chest. My singing doesn’t try to put her to sleep, my singing wants to wake her up. I have been imagining for years what it will be like when they tell me that he is no longer here, I think that this way I will be better prepared for the pain. But, just in case, I don’t answer the phone when it rings.” Cecilia recounts in her book Damn Alzheimer’s, Grandma, don’t forget me.

“When I got pregnant with my first child, it was a difficult time, since I had to face it alone. I was very scared, because in addition to the emotional, I had losses and it was a high-risk pregnancy. And my grandparents took me on vacation with them. I remember that it was a moment of great despair in my mind and body, but being with them calmed me down. Not only did grandma make me tea when I was nauseous, but grandpa would also go and pick me up at the beach because I was having anxiety attacks, very scared and sometimes paralyzed. I don’t know if they know, but They were in full force at that time and in many more“, Cecilia gets excited.

It seems that Yeya is Cecilia’s favorite person in her life, or at least the one with whom she shares a love that is as healthy as it is unbreakable, as true as it is eternal, beyond the years and the damned Alzheimer’s.

“I don’t feel like it was a moment in which I felt something specific, but rather with the passing of time and seeing how she was leaving and disconnecting more and more. Sometimes she has moments of greater lucidity, other times she is more lost. I do remember that last year she had severe anemia and they had to hospitalize her for, among other things, a transfusion. I remember that my mother told me by message, and she told me that she couldn’t go see her, that they didn’t let many people in. After a while she was already there, with her grandmother, I didn’t care at all. And the days she was hospitalized, she was never alone: ​​children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, family parade through the hospital to support her. They even slept with beach chairs in the hallway.”.

Cecilia, with her daughter and her grandmother. Beautiful memories that she will never forget.

“I just finished bathing you. I just saw my childhood go down the shower hole. Your hair, your old age, our history are stuck in it. A piece of anguish also gets stuck in my throat, someone passing me a plunger. I can’t let go of you, I’m holding the balance between the two of us. I play that I’m your cane while trying not to open my eyes too much. I’m not going to let my mind record the day I stopped being your granddaughter, the day I became your grandmother.”

“For me, bathing at my grandparents’ house was another great childhood event. I would fill the bathtub with foam and stay there for hours. And now seeing that I was the one washing her head was symbolically strong and very hard. She was happy. She was a huge grandmother. It was a tough time, but a loving one. Besides, I owe it to her. I feel that life is a wheel and now it is up to us to take care of it. There is not much time left to do it“Even though it can be tiring at times,” says Cecilia, with a lump in her throat.

Grandma Yeya with two of her great-grandchildren, Cecilia’s children.

“The only thing I wish is that she doesn’t suffer, that her limit is that. That she stays calm, that her memory escaped her because she came to live with each one of us who were lucky enough to have her throughout this beautiful life.”

Cecilia says that her grandmother is physically fine, all things considered, but her mind is elsewhere most of the time. She lives with her grandfather, with 24×7 caregivers and with her dog Mili. In addition, the house lights up every time her four children, her 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren visit her (very often).

On a routine level, Yeya usually spends several hours sitting on the couch with her dog eating vanilla cookies, if her grandfather doesn’t hide them from her.

“I try to go once a week, but I don’t always do it. When I go we chat a little, we have tea, she doesn’t want to go out anymore. She connects a lot with my daughter. The last time she took her to the room, put makeup on her, put some necklaces on her, did her hair. Every time I visit her I always like to go out. Give your laughter, your love and all the memories you have lived“I couldn’t ask for more.”

“My grandmother is a hug and support on her big chest, when I was left crying because Mom had to go to work. She is getting into bed with her, watching old soap operas, with toast with butter and sugar.”

Cecilia, who chooses to define her grandmother with the words shelter, laughter and memoriessays that when she has grandchildren she will talk to them about Yeya as a great example of life that she had with the desire that they feel as much love as she feels for her grandmother.

What is your wish for your grandmother? “The only thing I wish is that she does not suffer, that her limit is that. That she remains calm, that her memory escaped her because She came to live with each and every one of us who were lucky enough to have her throughout her beautiful life. Let him rest whenever he decides, we already have a great archive of memories. And that I love her, always”.

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