Our Imperfect Love

Loving grandma in our imperfect, inadequate ways, but loving her no less. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” — George Orwell
A Photo Story by Lim Mu Yao

It wasn’t always like this.

She stares blankly into the television, clueless. This is our Sunday routine. Dad and the occasional presence of Uncle reading the papers, serving as an assuring source of comfort for her.

Her habits are quirky. She behaves like a child now — refusing food that’s good for her.

But in other times, she looks back to her rich trove of memories to search for something familiar.

This is my granny, Tan Lee Meng, who has lived a sprightly 85 years on this planet. She has dementia, a degenerative brain disease that reduces her ability to think, reason and recall things.

It didn’t seem long ago where she was still the sprightly, independent and sharp-witted lady my granddad fell in love with.

But now, we are her guides to the world instead.

Even though she can’t, she still tries to make sense of the world.

She tries to write to remember things, even though her hands and ever-weakening mind fail her.

Her curiosity for life inspires me.

Because of tender moments like these, everything seems worth it in the end.

Loving her in our imperfect, inadequate ways, but loving her no less.

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