Thursday, October 29, 2009

Living with Lily

My seventeen year old son had to write an essay for his college applications about a person in his life who has influenced him and this is what he wrote: 

Living With Lily
            As my grandma has gotten older she has become more willing to try new things.  Recently I asked her if she would want to go on a tandem bike ride with me, which would be quite the task for a 77 year old lady.  She just looked at me and said “with you?  Sure,” and off we went.  We only rode down the street but throughout the ride if I said anything to her she would reply, “Shut up, don’t talk,  just pay attention.” 
            My grandma is in stage six of Alzheimer’s disease and lives with my family year round.  At times it can be very grueling on my parents and test all our patience;  However having her around can also be very rewarding.  Although she has lost her memory she has retained her great sense of humor.  She is always quick with a smart remark and will catch most people off guard by her witty ways. During the time she has lived with us which is now going on three years I have gotten very close to her.  When my parents go out of town the responsibility of watching Lily falls on me and my sister.  I have had to help her with her medication, dressing, hygiene, make up, hair, and constantly supervise her.
Last summer I went with a friend to Norris Lake in Tennessee and my mom told me that Lily asked where I was every single day.  Then on the day I was coming home the first thing she said to my mom when she came downstairs in the morning was “Today is the day Ryan is coming home, right?”   Hearing this meant so much to me because at times she has trouble remembering her own children.  Without a doubt we both have made an impact on each other. 
            Living with Lily has made me a different, better, and more well rounded person.  Not every kid my age is exposed to dealing with someone who is in her condition.  I never look at her as a burden to have around because she always brightens the mood of the room with a quick joke or a laugh.  If she did not have Alzheimer’s disease I would never have gotten the opportunity to know her as I do now.  I am grateful for everyday I have with Lily because no one knows how many remain.  She has taught me to be caring, patient, and selfless.  I plan on taking these virtues with me wherever I go.


  1. What a great kid, reading this brought tears to my eyes. Robin

  2. What a beautiful essay. Ryan will succeed at whatever he attempts! Where does he plan to go to school?

  3. Thanks Cindy. I thought he did a great job too! He is not sure yet depending on whether he plays basketball in college. If not probably UC to study Pharmacy.

  4. Many of us in the family have sat back and talked about how great it must be for Ryan and Emily to have the opportunity to live with and care for their grandmother. And now to hear it in his own words.....I'm bawling like a baby. So glad you shared this.