Inez Hauck, Thanksgiving 2011

I joined most of my family in Dixon, Missouri for a Thanksgiving reunion. My grandmother lives in a nearby nursing home and several of us visited her there.

She has been slowly losing her mind for several years. She has not been herself for a long time, and I am used to that. But I’d never seen her in a nursing home before. It was a shock to me when I first saw her being led, shuffling down the hallway, to greet us. She was never an excessively cheerful person but, more than ever, some essential spark of her person seemed missing.

She did seem to know us, though, even if it didn’t matter that much to her that we were there. And though she usually had a vacant look in her eyes, she remains capable of focusing and responding, as in the picture above. And she still looks beautiful to me.

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