The Birthday I'll Never Forget

Cassandra-Janina-Photography-Dayton-Ohio-Wedding-Portrait-Photographer
Cassandra-Janina-Photography-Dayton-Ohio-Wedding-Portrait-Photographer
Cassandra-Janina-Photography-Dayton-Ohio-Wedding-Portrait-Photographer

In two days it will be my birthday! I’m that person who thinks celebrating their birthday for an entire month is a legitimate thing. But that all changed a few years ago. My birthdays were no longer something I really felt I should celebrate like I use to. It’s now become a reminder of someone that I lost that was very important to me, my Grandma. On February 27, 2014 I received a call that would change my life forever.

Now I knew this day would come, but I was never prepared for it because for as long as I can remember my Grandma would talk to me about being there at my wedding and watching me have kids and all those important things that you want someone you love to be apart of.

So no this couldn’t be it because none of this had happened yet, but it was it. This was the call that no one ever wants to receive. My Grandma was battling a horrible disease called Alzheimer’s and just got to the point where she forgot how to even function. If you have experienced this disease you know exactly how heart breaking it is to see someone you love lose all their ability of memories, thought, how to do everyday tasks, and etc. 

This was it, I lost her. The battle of Alzheimer’s ended and it was the worst thing to experience. I still to this day remember every little detail about the day my Grandma no longer knew who I was. It was during Thanksgiving dinner and my Dad would go around the table asking my Grandma who everyone was, so we can try to keep her memory alive as long as we could. Then he got to me and pointed and said, “Do you know who this is?” As she was playing with her food cause at this time she almost reverted back to being a child again and she looked up and smiled and said, “No.” 

My heart literally broke into a million pieces. How could she not remember who I was? How could this disease just completely take away every memory we ever had together? How was this even possible right now? I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. No one prepares you for this and I wasn’t prepared one bit. I couldn’t handle it. My Dad then proceeded, “This is Casey!” And my Grandma replied, “My sweet Casey. I love her so much.” I immediately got up from the table in tears.

Cassandra-Janina-Photography-Dayton-Ohio-Wedding-Portrait-Photographer

The last time I was able to visit her was on a trip that myself and my husband took to visit my family in Texas. It was a heartbreaking one, but also one that I’ll forever be grateful for. At this point my Grandma barely spoke words and would hum and would barely open her eyes. I thought to myself, “how is this even my Grandma now?” This disease took everything from her and us. My Grandma was the type to love cooking, baking, playing with me, reading me books, taking me to the pool in the summers, and chasing me around in the back yard with her “switch” when I would get in trouble.  By the way my Grandma by far was one of the best bakers and cooks! 

It’s hard to sit back and reminisce on these days now because it’s hard experiencing everything without her. And it’s even harder every year when my birthday comes around I remember that this was the day I had to finally let go and say good bye. 

People always ask, “Are you doing anything for your birthday?” Chances are usually no because it’s almost like I don’t want to celebrate because one of the most devastating things happened to me on this day. I know my Grandma wouldn’t want this for me. She wouldn’t want me to not celebrate this day, so this year I am going to try and let go of the bad and instead rejoice in all the time I spent with her.


I’m so lucky to have a beautiful guardian angel. RIP Grandma, I love you❤️

xo, Cassandra

Cassandra-Janina-Photography-Dayton-Ohio-Wedding-Portrait-Photographer
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