With Life, Have Joy
“I’m at the hospital … the doctor thinks Jo might have had a stroke.”
In the middle of July of 2003 my grandmother, Josephine, suffered from a stroke causing the loss of movement on her left side. No one really knows what caused her to have a stroke, but it’s narrowed down to two events. During that summer my grandmother and I were visiting a nursing home. She is an ordained minister and was going to deliver a message to the residents. On the way in she tripped over the doormat and fell on her left side. In April of the same year, my uncle Eugene, her eldest son, passed away. It was not evident that this tragedy put a tremendous amount of stress on her, but we were able to tell. During this time my grandparents were living in Gary, Indiana so my family and I made frequent trips to their home from Franklin, Indiana. One summer in particular, my mother allowed me to stay with my grandparents and help take care of my grandmother. I was eight years old and this was the age I started to receive wisdom and knowledge from my grandmother. No matter what my grandmother wanted done or wanted to do she had to depend on someone else. As she learned to talk again, her words were slurred, and sometimes I could not understand what she was trying to say. Instead of my grandmother getting frustrated, she would laugh at herself and keep trying. When my grandmother tried walking, with the help of my granddad and I, she had no balance. We had to keep her from falling forward and when she would fall backward her wheelchair was there to catch her. In 2007 my grandparents moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas because my granddad could no longer handle the responsibility of caring for my grandmother, pastoring a church, and maintaining an acre of land. Because of this my parents decided to move our family to Pine Bluff as well, living approximately 5 minutes away from my grandparents. I was then able to visit and help my grandparents more often. I bathed...
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