Sharing a Letter from my Grandma

Is it mine to share?

Anna Burgess Yang
3 min readApr 5, 2018
“A fountain pen near cursive writing on white stationery” by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

My grandmother’s 98th birthday was yesterday. Back when she was 97, she managed to post a hello on her Facebook page (yes, my grandma has a Facebook page) with the help of my aunt. She used to peruse her Facebook feed, looking at photos of her family. That was a few years ago, when she was able to navigate the computer by herself.

97 marked a year of change for her. Her memory started to decline. She had a fall, a few weeks after her birthday. And she moved from the apartment in a senior center that she had lived in for close to 20 years to a memory care unit in another city, closer to my aunt and uncle, so that they could visit and be more involved in her care.

She is my last living grandparent. Up until the middle of her 97th year, she seemed indestructible, like she would live forever. The rapid deterioration of her short-term memory magnified the vulnerabilities of end-of-life. How frightening new situations can be. Confining to be limited to an apartment without a stove, for fear that she could leave it burning. Dependent on other people for her care.

Yet her face lit up when I brought my seven-month-old daughter to visit. My grandma and my baby gazed into each others’ faces with the biggest smiles.

--

--

Anna Burgess Yang

Freelance Writer. Practical Tips for Solopreneurs. Career pivots are fun. 🎉 https://start.annabyang.com/