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TITLE: Do You Know Who You Are Grandma?
By Kathy Davidson
01/31/09
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This a children's picture book about my famlies experience in caring for my husband's mother who had Alzheimer's disease. It is a culmination of incidences that occured over time with Grandma J.D.
Do You Know Who You Are
Grandma?


Jeffery is excited. Today his Grandma J.D. is coming to live with him in his house in the country with Momma and Dad. He remembers what Dad told him about Grandma. He knows that she is not the same. Jeffery knows that she is different. He tells Dad not to worry, he loves Grandma J.D.


Jeffery sits down on the family couch by Grandma J.D. She looks at Jeffery.

“Do you know who you are Grandma J.D.?” asks Jeffery. He places the sewing basket with the brightly colored buttons in Grandma J.D.’s lap. He places the colored thread in her wrinkled hands.

“I do, says Jeffery. You’re my daddy’s Mom. You made him shirts from his sister’s old dresses when he was in school. You liked to make clothes for other ladies. Your sewing machine is downstairs in the basement. But you don’t use it any more.”

Grandma J.D.’s brown eyes shine. Her lips smile.

Jeffery brings the paint brush and art paper to the kitchen table.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D.?” asks Jeffery. He puts a paint brush in Grandma’s hand.

“I do, says Jeffery. You’re a great painter. Momma and Dad have your picture of the old farm on their bedroom wall. I have your boat picture from the beach on my wall. Your paints are in the closet now. You don’t use them anymore.”

Grandma J.D. looks at the brush. She grips the brush tightly. She can’t make the brush move back and forth.

Jeffery sits on the Grandma’s big bed.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D.? says Jeffery. He puts his baby photo book in her lap. He opens the book.

“I do, says Jeffery. You rocked me when I was little in the brown rocker. See there is the backyard where we hunted Easter eggs. Look there is the fence where we called to Aunt Lilly in the house next door. You don’t live at that house anymore.”

Grandma J. D. closed her eyes tight. She tries to remember. But she can’t.



Jeffery brings a picture to the chair where Grandma sits in the sun on the back porch. Grandma’s hands are warm and her face is pink from the sunshine.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D, asks Jeffery. He places a picture of Grandpa J. D. in his Army uniform in her hands.

“I do, says Jeffrey. This is Grandpa J.D. Remember how handsome he was in his Army uniform. Remember how tall he was? Remember how he used to poke you in the ribs and make you jump! He is not here anymore.”

Grandma J.D. runs her hands across the picture. She smiles.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D. asks Jeffery. He puts the big family Bible on the table.

“I do, says Jeffery. Here is your Dad’s name, Reverend Shelton. Your dad was a minister. He had to drive you around in an old Model T car to get you to sleep. You sat on his lap sometimes when he preached. You don’t read it anymore.”

Grandma J.D. tries to turn the page, but she can’t make her fingers work.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D.”, says Jeffery. Dad is feeding her cornflakes with her medicine.

“I do, says Jeffery, you fed Dad when he was a baby. Dad says that when he finished his food, he always burped and made you laugh. Try to laugh, Grandma.”

Grandma J.D. opens her mouth, but only milk slips out.

“Do you know who you are, Grandma J.D.?” asks Jeffery. He watches Momma fix Grandma’s hair for church. Grandma is looking in the mirror. She sees Jeffery in the mirror.

“I do, says Jeffery. You’re my Grandma J.D. the prettiest grandma in the whole world. I like the way your brown eyes shine and your pretty gray hair.”

Then Grandma J.D. looks at Jeffery in the mirror. And in her old voice from before she says, “I know you! You are my Jeffery.”
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