Where Did the Old you Go?

Where Did the Old you Go?

A Story by LivyBee

A short essay that I wrote for a class that I was taking at the time. It's about the changes in my relationship with my grandmother, both before and after her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

                I was reminded of you today. I was reminded of you when the fog churned in the morning air. You always hated the fog. I inherited that from you. I was reminded of you when I heard the birds singing out against the cityscape; you always loved their songs. When I was reminded of you today, I was reminded of the “old” you. The you that I remember from when I was a child.
               The old you was busy, strong, and optimistic. The old you danced around the house, smiling, and grabbing me by the hands, pulling me into the jig. The old you, would take me on walks around your property. The old you and I would walk through the Ponderosas, searching for pinions and arrowheads in the snow. The old you and I would gaze up at the night sky out in the country where there were no lights to distract us from the heavens. The old you would rush to help me whenever I would fall and knew just where the band-aids should go on my numerous scrapes and cuts. The old you cooked for Christmas, and made sure that the family was fed at all times. But the old you is not here anymore. The old you is gone, and now there is a new you.
               The new you is fragile, cracked, and confused. The new you is confined to the couch, afraid of turning out the lights at night. The new you is quiet, timid and forgetful. When I saw the new you last week, you didn’t even remember who I was. The new you is child-like and must be watched constantly. It’s now I who has to put the band-aids on you, every time you hurt yourself, which is getting more and more common as the days go by. The new you is on a first name basis with the nurses at the E.R, even though the new you doesn’t remember ever being there. The new you can no longer go on those walks, dance throughout the house, or cook for Christmas. The new you can’t even feed the new you.
               Because I will never see the old you again, I have adapted into a new me. The new me is disconnected, UN-emotional, and stately; as not to scare you. The new me kicks in when I am with the new you, and the new me has to hide her emotions away so that she won’t break down. The old me, the one who would go on those walks, trudge through the snow, and stare in awe at the night sky with you is still here. The old you influenced the old me in unimaginable ways, and it’s because of that that the old me is going to school to get her doctorate to work for NASA and gaze into those same heavens for the rest of her life.

              The new you took the old you away from me, the family, and yourself, and the thing that created the new you in the first place, was the Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's has taken me, and turned me into a nameless stranger. The Alzheimer's has caused me to become someone else when I am around you. To this day, I wonder where the Alzheimer's has placed the old you, but I may never know. I just hope that the old you is safe wherever she is, because she was so important to me.
              Grandma, I miss you. I miss the old you.

© 2012 LivyBee

Author's Note

How do you think that it flows (overall)? What can I do to improve the overall flow?

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Added on February 24, 2012
Last Updated on February 24, 2012



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