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The Tale of Two Ladies | A Personal Project

Apr 4, 2017


I’ve been thinking about this project for a while, and I told myself I would make it happen this year. It’s very personal. My grandmothers both live in Columbus, Ohio about fifteen minutes apart.  I have many emotions to describe what it’s been like to watch them age. I knew I wanted to document them in their element.

A personal project:  My grandmothers

Nana is 87 and has Alzheimer’s. Her mental state/capacity seems to be declining with every passing week. The kids have been very interested in Nana stories as they seek to understand how aging and the brain sometimes work.  She recently moved to an assisted living floor so that nurses are available to help her with basic life skills. With camera in hand, I knocked on her door. We knew she wouldn’t know us.

She was so sweet and filled with joy at our presence. During our short visit, I pointed to my father’s picture a few times, reminding her I was was “Fred’s daughter.” We pointed to our pictures on her wall and told her repeatedly that we were her grandchildren. She responded with a surprised look on her face every time 🙂

She sleeps in her chair. She was reading the paper when we arrived, but I know she can’t comprehend what she’s reading. My aunt has labeled items in her new apartment– bathroom, socks, tv remote, etc. Alzheimer’s is so debilitating. We never realize how great a gift it is to think, remember, and comprehend, do we?




After visiting Nana, we traveled to Grandma Smith’s retirement community. Grandma Smith has a better mind than I do, but neuropathy in her legs affects her mobility. Grandma is on Facebook and Instagram. She comments and responds with emojis. I know she’ll read this blog. How cool is my 92-year-old grandma?! My kids adore her, and I do too. Jonah has always had a very special relationship with her. I know Grandma Smith is one of his favorite people in the world. I could write a book titled “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Grandma Smith.”

*How to be joyful in all things
*How to love your family well
*How to pray for your family unceasingly
*How to bring encouragement to others regardless of your age
*How to balance your checkbook when you’re 92 years old 🙂
The list goes on…

A few weeks ago she gave up her position as the head librarian at her retirement community. She loves playing games on her computer and keeps up with her family through social media. She’s a puzzle master, and we followed her to dinner where she was going to join her friends and then play cards afterwards.

I told Grandma I wanted to document a peek into her life…




So why share these pictures with our blog readers? Every day there are people, experiences, and small moments that we take for granted. Pictures tell the stories we never want to forget. What part of your life can you document through photos today?

comments +

  1. Virginia Smith

    April 4th, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thanks Traci,I enjoyed your blog. Nice pictures of Nana.
    I love you, Grandma.

  2. Fred Tiberi

    April 4th, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I loved the glimpse into Nana and Grandma Smith’s lives. Well done!

  3. Shari Cheeseman

    April 5th, 2017 at 3:23 am

    What a lovely tribute to your grandmothers and a blessing to all who read your blog. I have known your Grandma Smith all my life. She is a best friend of my parents. I did not know your Nana, but I knew her children in our schooldays, and they tell the world something good about her. I am sorry she is suffering with Alzheimers because I saw my mother-in-law suffering the same. All the best to you two and this project. Your mother was once my best friend.

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