Happy Birthday!!!! The song replayed in my head as I sat in an uncomfortable chair with an ugly red and brown flannel pattern. I was at my great grandma’s 87th birthday party at a normal nursing home. She can't leave the nursing home because she has really bad alzheimer's. It’s gotten to where we have to write down in a notebook when we visit her. You put the time, date, first and last name -- which is pointless because she forgets where the book is. This is your typical birthday party for an old person -- low fat everything with no salt. As a teenager this is the event you don't look forward to -- re-meeting the family and feeling awkward. Of course all your Aunts and Uncles tell you to stay away from dating and focus on school.
My grandma’s name is Rose Stingburger. Luckily I don’t have that last name.
“Who are you again?” My grandma asked me not sure if she knew me or not.
“It's me -- Angel, your greatgrand kid.” I tried to explain.
“Oh yeah!” She screamed.
“ SHH!! Grandma you're being loud!” I said trying to show that I wasn't the reason why she screamed. I could feel the eyes staring at me as I tried to explained that she just got excited.
“Angel, why don’t you take Rose to her room to get her cane.” My uncle said hoping he didn’t have to do it himself. Of course I wasn't going to say no with her right there.
“ Sure I would love to, “ I muttered as I gave my uncle an evil look.
“Come on Grandma.” I took her down the hall. It wasn’t that far from the room we are having her party . Yet it felt like years walking with an old person. And since she didn’t have her cane, I was stuck with having to hold her arm. It was soft and pale, with green vines showing. I got creeped out and closed my eyes for a split second.
Then I quickly open my eyes as I heard a someone yelling “Move it!”
It was my grandma yelling at an old man telling him to move it! Or she'll move him with her fist. Even I was scared. The old man was scared and hoping to escape in one piece.
“ Grandma, be nice” I whispered in her ear praying that she wouldn’t scream again. Of course I got no answer. I figured she heard me because she rolled her eyes and wasn’t yelling at that poor old man anymore.
“Here’s your room, Grandma” I said standing at room 109.
“ Are you sure?” My grandma hesitated as she gave me awful look. “ It looks questionable to me.”
“ I’m sure Grandma,” I said trying to explain showing her I was right. Actually I had no clue. I was pretty sure because it said Rose StingBurger on the front door. This was a weird room. Yet it looked like the others. It had a twin bed which was covered in old blankets that she likely made.Before she was put in a nursing home, she would make blankets and put them up to sale at the church. I looked around and saw pictures everywhere. I'm not sure if she put them up herself, or had someone do it for her. They were above her bed and, around her tiny tv. Of course her tv was playing one of those one-hour commercials about a diamond necklaces. I looked at the photo’s there mostly of her husband, but some were of the grandkids. Five years ago her husband passed away from a heart attack. It was hard for her to move on. I chuckled at a funny photo of her and her husband making a weird face.
“That was the day your Grandpa proposed,” My grandma told me. I was shocked that she remembered.
“Wow, that’s so cool” I replied.
“Yeah, and that one, with castle in the back, That's when we went to Disney World,” She answered proudly.
“What about this one? The one with beach in the background?” I asked.
“That’s where me and your Grandpa got married. July 4, 1932 In the Jamaica” She was so happy to remember that day.
“Wow, what about these one with the Eiffel Tower in the background?” I answered with wondering when she went to Paris.
“ Yeah, I was in Paris on a bussines trip.” She announced excitedly.
“A business trip? Grandma, you never told me that. You also never told what business you were in,” I replied stunned.
“Oh I had a lot of jobs.The one for when I went to Paris was when I was a fashion designer, I had to meet with people who I was selling my fashion line to,” She answered.
“A fashion designer? Why has no one told me that one before?” I asked her. I was so amazed. I never knew these things.
“ No one believes me.They think I went with friends and it was a school trip, which isn't true. I mean, I have documents to prove it. I will tell them that and say I'm losing my mind. They all think I'm an old nut.” She said not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.
“Well, if it makes you feel better, I don't think you're an old nut.” I told her from the bottom of my heart.
“Good. If anyone says different about my story about Paris,tell them the truth,” She said being serious.
“ I promise,” I said meaning every word. “We should get back to the party.”
“ Yep, let’s go. And, Angel, I'm glad we had this talk,” She said proudly.
“ Me too, Grandma” I replied back. That day I underestimated my great-grandma. I have never been so wrong. I felt like I really knew her. We got back to the party, and something changed. I asked Grandma why she wanted to be a fashion designer. She had no clue what I was talking about. See, her Alzheimer's comes and goes, and since I never see her I didn't know this. I visited her every sunday every since. But that started to change as well. I visited her for every Sunday after that for awhile. I visited her consistently for a year but then I grew up and thought I was all big and bad. I thought I was losing my mind about the story and just that she wasn't telling the truth.
After that I didn't see her until I saw her in a bed that you put underground. That was one one of the saddest days of my life. I walked into the church in a black dress. There were tears rolling down my pale face.I started tremble as I saw her laying there in that black coffin. I look over and see my family, for once I was glad to see them all. It was time to sit down and it was time for the speeches. I walked up and told the story about her Paris trip, of course I told everyone that the story wasn't true. As I was standing up there in the middle of my speech I saw a weird lady. She had a big black hat with sparkles. Can you even wear sparkles to a funeral? She even appeared weird. She was tall with brown hair. She look as old as my grandma. I went and sat down. My family and I were all saying goodbye as we were leaving. The weird lady was heading right for me.
She came up to me and said, “Hi I'm Mary March. I sold your grandma’s fashion line in Paris. That story was true.” I’ve never felt so dumb in my life. So follow these words: Don't underestimate older people.