Does she know that she forgot what she once knew?

Many of my readers know that I once in a while write about my great-aunt Margot, who is 93. I am her caretaker and she had to move into an elderly home after a severe stroke and heart attack last summer. She is an awesome woman and I write about her because she is a huge part of my private life. So once in a while I share.

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This week I went to visit aunt Margot, it is always a quite long trip as she lives about 4 1/2 hours away from here. When I arrived she was still taking her nap after lunch and so I had my usual meeting with the nurses first to talk about how she is doing, what her needs are and so on. So one of the nurses, who is organizing a lot of the social activities told me that aunt Margot is doing well, is very much-loved and that she is participating in a lot of those events. And then she told me that at a music gathering they took out my aunt’s guitar as she was talking so much that she wants to play guitar. And that aunt Margot was sitting there all of a sudden and didn’t know anymore how to play, and how she helplessly let her hands sink, the guitar still on her lap and said “I don’t know…I don’t know how to do this anymore”….and how this made her really upset. The nurse told me I should rather pack the guitar and take it with me as to not have this happening again.

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I cannot even tell you how sad this made me. It felt as if someone had punched me hard into my stomach – I instantly started to tear up and I think that of all the things she has forgotten the last couple months, this made me the saddest. Ever since she was a teenager, she had played guitar. Her guitar and her- inseparable. There are gazillions of photos of her and her friend – later with her husband – doing bicycle tours – the guitar on the back -photos of her playing – memories of mine of many many family parties of her playing her guitar.

margotguitar

The photo above was taken at a friend of mine in 1996 where she just picked up his electric guitar and started playing. Just the thought of how she must have felt in that very moment made me sad.

So I went into her room and after lots of hugging and talking and laughing – I realized her guitar case in the corner. She followed my look and then she said: “ohh we had a thing last week and I played guitar – we had so much fun!”

I looked at her and she was all happy and told me of the songs she played and how she still knows them all and the lyrics to the songs too.

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How can I have possible taken the guitar case with me at this moment?

What can I say…I just hope that she really doesn’t know that she forgot what she once knew!

have a wonderful day

hugs

Nat

Comments (37)

  • Laura S

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    Thank you for sharing such a tender moment. Bless you for taking care of your sweet Aunt and going to visit her. It is not easy making decisions for others; be it a child, friend, or a loved one. Follow your heart and with time and prayer, your answers will come. Keeping you and your Aunt in my prayers.

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  • mjmarmo

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    I am sure that was difficult for you. Your aunt sounds like such an amazing person. She is lucky to have you in her life!

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  • Robinn G

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    Thanks for sharing about your aunt. What a beautiful and sad story about a wonderful lady! I hope she can remember how to play!

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  • Sherri Sinclair

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    I love the stories of your aunt, she is so pretty. I would leave her guitar. Sounds like she doesn’t remember being upset and for that I am grateful.

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  • Sue

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    You know Nat, sometimes taking something away, like her guitar, may end up not doing what the people think it might. Your aunt may see that empty space one day and remember that her guitar used to be there. She told you that she was playing the other day right? even tho’ she had forgotten how to, her memory was of playing it and having a great time singing and so on. I would leave it sitting in the case in the corner of her room and let her be happy with thinking that she had had such a wonderful day. Who is it going to hurt. This is just my opinion and I am no doctor by any means but …
    hugs and thanks for sharing your stories.

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    • Sue

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      Oh and I love the pictures of her and her friends! Really nice black and whites!!

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  • Nurse Ratchet

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    Nat … You did and always do what is right and good for Aunt Margo. You love and care for her and you know her best. Listen to your heart and you will always know what to do.you have been blessed to have this fabulous lady in your life!! Love ya!!

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  • Kelly Belton

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    Aunt Margot is so real to me, because of the evocative way you always write about her. Poignant words Nat – as always. You are a good and compassionate soul – you write about your Aunt with such love.
    Blessings to her and to you…

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  • sylvia

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    this brought tears to my eyes… it can be very painful to see loved ones getting old… i am certain one thing she will never forget, and that’s all the love you have given her throughout the years… she will always know! hugs to you!

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  • Kathy P

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    God bless you for your loving care of this special woman in your life! And you did exactly the right thing leaving her guitar there!

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  • samara

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    On another note Nat, I totally know what you were talking about re the pastels. I was thinking oil pastels. Last night I bought a 6.99 full set of dry stick pastels!!!! NOW I know what you were recommending. I get it. THANK YOU so much my friend! Lovies, Samara

    Reply

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