December 4

Written by Bill Grandi on December 4th, 2023

As you may know, we buried my sister-in-law last Thursday.  (Thanks for your prayers. We traveled over 700+ miles in less than 4 days).  For the past 4 years she has been a resident of Parkvue Care Center in Sandusky, OH. (Jo & I give them 100%-and if possible higher for the job they have done in taking care of Vicki). Her battle with diabetes gave us no option but to get her into a place that could take care of her. We offered to bring her to Indiana with us but she refused (“This is my home and my friends”), so we accommodated her wishes. For the first two years, she thrived. She participated; her naturally shy personality became outgoing; she made friends; she laughed; did wheelchair exercises; went on treks with the residents; and adjusted well to three meals and regular meds.

But another disease was lurking and eventually pounced. Diabetes led to dialysis, but the one that pounced was dementia, which eventually because full-bore Alzheimer’s. The last couple of times we were there she did not know me or Jo at all. She held out knowing Jo a bit longer until she was too enveloped in the cloud of lost memory.

It is heart-breaking to see people you know and love get lost in a world neither they, nor you, understand. Once sharp minds cannot even remember how to put shoes on or how to button a blouse, or worse, their own name. Communication is a lost art as they become swallowed up in a cloud of fog. One of our last memories of our last visit was her refusal to get out of her wheelchair to stand in order to be transported. “NO!” was her answer. My last memory was going back into her room before we left, “waking her” from her peaceful sleep, and saying, “Vicki, I want you to know that Jo and I love you and I’m glad you were sister-in-law.” I saw a slight smile hit her lips followed by some incoherent words. I’m clueless on what she said but I do believe she heard me.

She is now with Jesus, reunited with her mother and father (whom she really missed) and others from the church she attended who preceded her. Death for the follower of Jesus is never the end. It’s just the beginning of a whole new life that goes on forever.

And her memory is perfect.


I review a book called Memorable Loss by Karen Martin on my other site- Cycleguy’s Spin. Please head over their for a review on a very good book on Alzheimer’s.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. So sorry for yours and Jo’s loss. You have been faithful and visiting and caring for her over the years, even when it was difficult. It’s good to think about the restoration that has taken place in heaven for her, now fully healthy in mind and spirit. You are in our prayers.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Pam. It was difficult visiting knowing she did not know us. but we have no regrets either. I’m glad for her complete restoration.

  2. I don’t know if there’s anything more tragic than watching a loved one succumb to mental decline. Having gone through this with my father, my heart breaks for all those who are subjected to this same painful experience.
    Yes, Vicki is now healed completely and in the forever care of Jesus.
    Love and prayers for all of you, Bill.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. I was tough to watch this bright, intelligent woman go downhill. but I am rejoicing in her restoration to full health

  3. Glynn says:

    We’ve been experiencing the slow decline of a very close friend for several years now. Dementia and related diseases seem cruel for the family and friends of the person experiencing afflicted, but there have been blessings sprinkled throughout.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is an awful thing to watch Glynn, as you well know. But you have hit on something important: look for the blessings.

  4. Ryan S. says:

    I think we all can likely list a family member or friend (or multiple) who we have experienced the loss of cognitive ability.
    My grandmother shared a similar decline as Vicki. I remember the cloud of confusion that seemed to overtake her in a period of months. At 92 years old, Amanda’s grandma continues to have meaningful conversations despite her lapse in memory. For this I am grateful. I see some initial signs in my own mom as well. My sister and I, along with my mom, need to start having some serious conversations about how to approach the next 10-20 years.

    It is never easy… but it is necessary. And as stated by yourself and your other readers… I am so very Thankful that at the end of this journey, our new self will not have to worry about physical or mental decline.

    Glad you are home safe Bill and give Jo another hug for us.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for your understanding and wise words Ryan. And yes, please have those conversations now. Thanks for praying for our travels. We need to get together.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss and I trust God will comfort you and your wife. I am so thankful you do not sorrow as those who have no hope and you will see her again someday. Until then, may God hold you both extra close.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thank you Cheryl but we are good. It was actually merciful and a blessing after 4 years in the home and 2 years of going down hill.