Jacqueline P. - My Best Friend, "My Grandma, G.G."
Hello my name is Jacque,
I am 19 years old, & I want to share my story about my best friend G.G. A.K.A. Gang-sta Granny, or LeWanda.
My Grandmother was so instrumental in my life, she taught me the importance of reading at the young age of 4. She would tell the story of many books, she taught me how to use phonic form of reading, she was my biggest fan, as I would have her sit and watch me roll play Being my favorite (at that time) Brittany Spears, we took long, long walks, She helped raise me as my mother was a singel parent.
When I was 6 we started noticing that G.G. was becoming confused, most Defiantly should not have been driving.
Now by the time I am 8 G.G. could barely remember her name, she would become violent and then cry like a child while asking for her Mommy.
She would not eat, throw fits, sometime she was so uncontrollable.
Now my mother now only has a small child to care for but her mother who has Alzheimer's. We would prepare foods we knew to be G.G.'s favorites in the past and now she hated (or so she thought she did) she would insiste on Banana's on her hot dogs along with the mustard, relish & ketchup. Sometimes she would put her hands over her ears and rock back and forth. G.G. would try jumping out of the car while mom was driving on the freeway, (Thank God for Child Locks on the car doors) she would in a very sneaky manner unlock her seat belt (while sitting in the middle of the back seat) reach up a punch my mother in the face while mother was driving then look at me and smile and say to me "I hate her"
My Grandmother was a very old fashion women, by NO means there would be No cussing, No smoking, No Drinking Alcohol. But this crazy mind change Disease, G.G. could teach a Sailor a thing or two, She would try to sneak Alcohol (Beer) and I believe if she could get her hands on Pot she would have been puffing away.
My Grandmother, became so thin, so fraile, it was scary.
We lived in Fallbrook, Ca., the most northern part of San Diego County. I have to say to watch this transaction, was crazy, scary and heart breaking. You see, my mother was G.G.'s main care giver & while Chris (my mother) was caring for G.G., Me & a teenager (my sister) Her husband decided to divorce her (Chris).
Chris said "we are just going to keep going" and that we did, you see I got involved in the entertainment business, dancing acting and all the rest, this meant auditions from Fallbrook, getting up at 3 a.m. to make it to an audition on time, sometimes being in L.A. 15 to 16 hrs for the day, because I took a dance class or acting class and this happening 3 to 4 days a week Mean while we had G.G. getting her up in the early morning, trying to feed her SOMETHING, make her feel relaxed so she would Not through a fit, then because I was a minor mother had to be with me, and Along came G.G... Some days she was clam, some days she was screaming "help that women over there is trying to kill me" (along with profanities).
Some days mom would Laugh & other times mom was on her knees crying & begging for help. with no place to turn, no understood, people began to think my mother was a bad person, I mean why would this Fraile, Beautiful Elderly Women, say these things, Because they just do NOT understand what Alzheimer's is all about.
One time, We had to pick something up from a Drug store, so we park everything with G.G. seems fine, she is smiling talking about the color of her blouse, so we get out of the car walk in to the store & G.G. sees a security guard, She runs to him screaming "Help me, I do not know them and they are hurting me" the Security Guard, thinks what the heck is wrong with us, and pulls his gun, yes his gun, because he does not understand Alzheimer's, needless to say I missed my audition.
It took so long to educate the people we had to be around that this is a Disease and this is my love, my Grandmother, my G.G...
Then there where moments as a child that I took advantage of this Disease, like. We are in the market, it is 102 degrees outside & G.G. has insisted that she wear her coat, she is walking around the market with mom, and with this sneaky look on her face, would get away from mom, so I would go on watch follow G.G. & finally she would walk up to me and say "do you know where Jacque is? can you help me find her?" Yes G.G. was talking to me (Jacque), but it was fun along with it kept her entertained, an easiest way to get her to go back into the car without throwing a fit and having someone attacking my poop mother for abusing this fraile elderly women. Yes, my words are many and I could go on & on. My wish is to Educate the world, to help them understand what it takes to care for a loved one with this Mind eating disease. To educate the public (We Need to find something that will help control, the Uncontrollable moments). We took G.G. everywhere with us, no matter what & where. We would walk with her every day, keep her moving, keep her going. If we went to a restaurant, G.G. went to...
G.G. became so hard for mom to care for while I was trying to make it in the entertainment business, sometimes I would Gladly give up an audition or event, because G.G. just did not understand anymore. You see I had this Gig (or JOB) Macy's Passport, which mean' I was going to San Francisco and mom had to be with me, for a few weeks. Mom ask one of her siblings (yes there are several other children G.G. had) of which non of would help my mother, with their own mother.
So, Mom took G.G. to one of her brothers house's (after I had ask them to please help) and dropped her off and said we will be back in 2 weeks to pick G.G. up, needless to say once they got a taste of what it meant to care for G.G. they put her in a care house.
It was a fight to get her back, and with in 6 weeks G.G. was so fraile, now she is wearing diapers, using a walker because they would make her sit on their couch all day, she fell and broke her hip, with that she was placed in a nursing home about 70 miles from us, which made that another hurtle.
After a year G.G. got an infection. The whole time G.G. was in this Nursing home, she would not talk.
Then the time comes and we are being told my Beautiful, Wonderful, Kind, Loving Grandmother only has a few days left. She has not spoken in a year, the room is filled with my sisters, cousins of course my mother and G.G. sees me and Said "Jacque, I Love you" I feel so loved, so special this women that gave birth to 10 children and has 60 plus grandchildren & great grandchildren, I am the only one she remembers.
I feel it is important for the world to know that these wonderful people are not bad, they are not crazy, they are not hurtful, they have a disease & They Need Our Love, Our Care & Our Help, we need to find a cure.
Thank you for taking the time to help.
Jacque Rae Pyles,
P.S. I have a large following on FaceBook & Twitter, if it helps, please show me how I can help get the word out to the public.