Nanny and Ben

Life, by virtue of it's sheer persistence, has not been kind to my grandmother these days. She is 95 years old. For the past 3 years she has been just well enough to survive, but not well enough to enjoy living.

We remember her caring for us when we were little, the aroma of her apple pies, playing dress-up in her jewelry. It's not clear what she remembers. Nanny is just lucid enough to know that she has dementia and that she should recognize us, but doesn't. Her not knowing who we are pains us all. Visits are short: we make small talk, carefully avoid telling stories that might upset her or asking questions that might confuse her.  We were fearful of bringing Benoît to meet her yesterday. We didn't know how he would react - would he cry? Would he be scared? Would that upset Nanny even more?

Things did not look promising when we arrived - she was not feeling well and lying in bed unresponsive, but the most amazing thing happened when we put the baby in her bed - he snuggled up to her and her face lit up. No one spoke. They just grinned and stared into each others eyes. It was the first time I had seen her smile in years. Its unclear if she knew who he was, or why he was there but it was clear that she was happy about it.

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