Turning 94

Family with Nanna James

Good morning friends welcome to my Monday, this morning I am going to share a little about my nanna who turned 94 yesterday. She was born in Wauchope and was one of 13 children, she was married twice and has outlive both her husbands, nan had 4 children, 3 of which are still alive and 2 of which still visit her weekly more or less there are weeks we may give it a miss but that isn’t often.

Dad & Tim

My nan has Alzheimer’s she started to show the first signs of dementia way back in 1998 but wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s till around 2000 I think, when she started to repeat herself and ask the same question over and over some family members and so called friends stopped seeing and visiting her because they found her an embarrassment. This I can tell you really pisses me off, and I get annoyed when I hears people say they want to remember her how she was not how she is, I do remember her how she was and yes I see how she is but when she has thought flickers of memory which you can see in her eyes it really makes me feel good.

Dave & Leigh

Like yesterday she had a few of those moments, when I went to say hi to her and give her a kiss, I say “hi nan it’s Jo-Anne, happy birthday” as clear as anything she replies with “where’s Tim” I wasn’t the only one to hear her say that so did my sister Sandra, I called Tim over to see her it was a wonderful moment. Later when my daughter Natasha turned up she went to give nan a kiss and said it’s Natasha nan made no sign she knew who Natasha was so I said it again with more Russian sound and nan’s eyes lit up she knew who I meant, as nanna always said Natasha in the Russian way. Not only did her eyes light up but she said I know and love you, Tasha spoke to nan for a bit with me there to listen and translate what she said you have to listen carefully as nan only speaks in a whisper and will only say a couple of words at a time.

Pearla and Frank

This is a photo of all who turned up to see nanna for her birthday, my daughters Kathy-Lee and Jessica didn’t go, Kathy-Lee is one of those who can’t see the point as nanna isn’t “there” and she was going to see Michael’s parents, Jessica didn’t go because nursing homes smell like “death and old people” which this one does not I might add.

All that turned up to Nan's 94th

Tim didn’t want to go but I said I wanted him to go it was important to me and I have gone to a number of things over the years that I would have preferred not to have gone to but because I love him I went, so he could go for me, however, once we got there he seemed to have a good time.

Sam and Hayley

He did complain that no one talked to him well except for my dad and brother, I told him we are a loud and boisterous family and he has become pretty withdrawn and he should know what we are like now so speak up and if you have something to say, say it.

Pop with sam and tina

Most people with Alzheimer’s only live around 8-10 after being diagnosed so nan is doing well as it is about 15 years since she was diagnosed and 17 years since the first signs of dementia appeared.

3 generations

I would like to thank those who sent cards for nanna, didn’t get many but that is because my family are useless at times.

Blain next to Nanna James


4 thoughts on “Turning 94

  1. That’s so sad – Alzheimers is such a horrible disease that affects so many people, especially the family of those affected by it. Even though she’s not always aware of who you are I’m sure she IS aware of being surrounded by love.

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