Valerie’s Story

When I was in secondary school, my 70 year old grandmother used to be an active soul. The energy she had hid her age well. On a typical day, she would be chatting with her friends on the phone for hours or catching up on the latest Taiwanese drama on TV. After school, she would wait for me to alight from the bus before taking a stroll to the nearest McDonald’s for a vanilla ice cream cone. Those memories are truly unforgettable. Fast forward 5 years, an unexpected headache she had turned out to be a stroke and months of hospitalization. Her health and memory deteriorated. She can hardly remember us these days. On good days, she would call us by name and ask us about our day at work. On not-so-good days, she would hardly speak a word to us. Simple questions like “What did you have for lunch?” goes unanswered. We see her struggling to recall what she ate an hour ago; we see her trying to recall our names and sometimes her own. We see a different side of my grandmother, not the energetic grandmother that I hold memories of. Life for her and the family has since been completely different; and we are adapting to it everyday.

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