SOMETIMES I COME ACROSS A STORY THAT TRULY MOVES ME. JESSICA TRUETT GREW UP IN KENTUCKY. HER MEMORIES OF HER DEARLY LOVED GRANDMOTHER DOLLIE CAME STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART. THEY WERE ALSO BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO SHARE HER ARTICLE ON MY WEBSITE. DOLLIE DIED FROM ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ON MARCH 4 2016 RIP
This will be the first Christmas in my thirty two years without my Granny.
When I was a little girl she used to go by my bedroom window with our sled and shake bells, pretending to be Santa. And right away I would close my eyes and wait until Mommy would wake me up and tell me Santa had visited.
One year I wanted a Sally Secrets doll soooo very badly. Every time the commercial came on, I’d say; ‘That’s her, that’s the one I want!!’
That Christmas morning, Mom woke me up…Santa had come! I opened all my presents, but no Sally Secrets doll. I was heart broken.
Well, we always had Christmas dinner at Granny’s, where she had her famous dried apple stack cake every year.
We had to eat before we opened our presents, and I was still heart broken about the doll I wanted so badly. When it was time to open presents we all gathered around Granny’s beautiful tree (it was always so beautiful, like one on TV). She handed my mom, my uncle, brother and everyone their gifts, then she handed me one. It was gloves and a hat. I looked at her and said, ‘Thank you Granny’, and smiled. There were still presents under the tree, but none with my name. Then, when everyone was cleaning up the paper she looked at me and said, ‘Jess, we missed one.’ She smiled that beautiful smile, and handed the box to me. I opened it up, and there was my Sally Secrets doll. I yelped with excitement, and said, ‘Oh Granny, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!’ And I gave her a big hug. She said, ‘And you thought you weren’t going to get her.’
That was the best Christmas ever!
Last Christmas her Alzheimer’s had progressed so much, she just sat in her wheelchair staring blankly. I hugged her frail little neck and held her hand the whole time I was with her. She suddenly looked at me and said, ‘Up on the rooftop.’ I smiled and replied, ‘Click, click, click.’
‘You’ll never stop believing in Santa, will you little girl?’
‘I don’t think Santa can bring me what I want, Granny’.
‘For you to come home and fix that apple stack cake for me.’
‘Apple stack cake? What’s that?’
‘Oh, it’s the best cake in the world, Granny, made by the most beautiful woman I know.’
She smiled, giggled a little, and kissed my cheek.
I miss her, God I miss her. Alzheimer’s sucks! It does more than take away memories, it takes away love, and heart too.
EDITOR’S NOTE – Yes, Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia steal so much. However, Jessica’s memories of her grandmother’s love and big heart will last forever.
As an Australian, I had never heard of Apple Stack Cake The making of it appears to be rather time consuming but it does sound delicious. Layers of buttery dough are separated by a filling of reconstituted dried apples, spices and molasses.
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