Grandma Barber (Janice)

By Chris McQuade


It is hard to see someone suffer through Alzheimer’s disease. In the later stages, they are just a shell of who they used to be. You talk to them, and wonder, if they are hearing what you’re saying. What if, if anything is going on in their mind? I believe that God has a special place for people such as these. That although they seem to not be mentally with us, that God is holding them in His arms, taking care of them.


I had gotten used to the fact that my grandma had Alzheimer’s. At first it was really difficult, because it seemed like every time we saw her, she was a little more distant, a little less like the grandma that I knew and loved. After a while you start to accept it. But, the last few months had been harder, because you know that the end is near. That she won’t be with us much longer. You take for granted, the fact that someone is always there, but when you know that their demise is close at hand, you realize that a time is coming when they won’t be there anymore. The memories will still be there, however, and that gives me comfort.


When I was a kid, we lived only two blocks away from Grandma and Grandpa Barber, and used to go over to their house often with my mom. They always had paper and stuff like that, that Grandma would bring home from work, at NBD, for us to color on. We had toys to play with and books to read. We liked to play outside, and jump off the porch, over the flower bed- which sometimes we landed in- onto the grass, when no one was looking.


Often times my mom would work nights and Grandma would watch us overnight. One thing I always enjoyed, was the well stocked cupboard full of cereal. She would always let us have cereal before bed-a privilege that I could not enjoy at home-, and she always had our favorites on hand.


There are many other memories, but what I cherish the most, is how much she loved us grandkids.


She used to tuck us in before bed. I remember her playing tapes for Rian and I and she would sing Sunday schools songs with us. I always slept on the outside of the bed and Rian slept by the wall, so when she would crawl over to give Rian a goodnight kiss, she would nearly smother me. But that’s O.K. She would say bedtime prayers with us and take us to church on the Sundays that we were over. She loved Jesus and taught us to love Him too.


Jesus said: “ Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

After this Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)


As bad as she may have gotten and as sad as it may be, we ought to cheer up, because she is home with Jesus.


The Bible says in the Book of Revelation:


“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’.” (Revelation 21:4,5)



The Bible also says that to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. So, while her body, may be dead, her spirit is alive.


I can only imagine what she must have thought, when she met face to face with her Heavenly Father. What did she say? What did she do? How great that must have been to be in the Glory and Presence of almighty God.


I can only imagine.