I haven’t been sad, really, really sad for a long, long time. Angry, yes, many times. But today is truly a sad day.
My grandmother has been hospitalised due to a stroke. The doctor classified it as a mild stroke, because she has a slightly slurred speech and her hands aren’t as nimble as they used to be.
That’s what I thought too. Until I visited her with 小小宝贝 this evening.
She asked me, “why did you rent your house out?” I simply didn’t get it. Huh?
“What are you talking about?”
It went back and forth until it suddenly occurred to me that, she’s referring to her ward. And the nurse was the maid and the guy in the next bed was the “tenant”!
“This is Changi hospital!”
“What Changi hospital? It’s your house! There’s no such hospital called Changi hospital!” (She stayed there for 1 week just a month back.)
Then she proceeded to call my son my cousin’s name. My heart sank.
“Do you know who I am?”
She looked at me in bewilderment. A part of me died. I am her favourite grandchild and she doesn’t remember me. We slept in the same bed for the first 10 years of my life. And we shared the same room until I got married. I was her everything, until my brother came along. Then both of us were her everything, with me having a bigger share.
After a long while, she finally managed to say my name. She remembered 小小宝贝.
Suddenly she asked me where my brother was. I told her, “Germany. For work.” Her reply was, “What are you talking about? He’s in primary six!”
Her memories have been jumbled up. She mixes up the past and the present.
She played with 小小宝贝 for a while. It made her happy.
I sat there, looking at her while she was playing with him. My grandmother, who is my pillar of strength, with the most lucid mind, can’t really remember me. I know, because she asked me for.. me. I’d never thought that this can ever happen to me. This only happens in movies, dramas, but not, to me.
Today, I have lost something precious. I hope she remembers me when I see her tomorrow.
We hugged and kissed her and told her that we loved her. She sat in her chair, smiling and waving at us as we left the ward.
Last week we had lunch with her at home and when we left, we also hugged her and kissed her and she waved good bye.
But today, she doesn’t remember me.
I realise today, that the most painful thing on Earth, is to be forgotten by the person who loved you the most.