Published February 6, 2020 by rochellewisoff

There’s nothing more brutal than helplessly watching a loved one deteriorate in the throes of such diseases as ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, or the cancer known as Alzheimer’s. Somewhere between midnight and morning, January 24, 2020 my mother-in-law, Mary Lee Meek shuffled off her mortal coil. However, we’ve been grieving her loss for the past seven years as Alzheimer’s slowly robbed us of the woman we knew and loved. In her memory I’d like to share a flash fiction I wrote for my husband, Jan in 2013.


            “A-one and a-two…” said the man on television.

            “I hate Lawrence Welk.” I stamped my foot.

            Mom’s brown eyes flashed as she jumped from her chair to turn up the volume. I grabbed her around the waist and we fell to the floor where she tickled me into submission.

            A tower of strength, she always won. 

            Somewhere along the line, between responsibilities and business-as-usual, without my notice, the tower crumbled.  

            In semi-darkness, she stares at a blank screen. I search her listless eyes but the spark is gone.

            “Mom? I miss Lawrence Welk.”

            Her brow crinkles. “Do I know you?” 

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42 comments on “LIVING LEGACY

  • This was a hard read for me for obvious reasons. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that robs a person of all their humanity but leaves them with a mortal, but empty shell before eventually taking that also. It has many victims counting all the family and friends. My Mom is now free but we still have grief to live with that only time will lessen. A very touching story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. Alzheimer’s is always worse on those left behind than those afflicted. Again, my sympathies to you, Jan and the family.

    Shalom and lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Really sweet, Roch…Alzheimers is a terrible disease. I watched many of my patients suffer from it. But more was the case of the pain it brings the family watching their loved one disappearing day by day. The one day on the orher side of my desk, was my own grandmother. Each time I saw her, she was barely reconnizable. Then I had even more compassion for both patients and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Touching story, Shelley. I can certainly relate, seeing my father crumble in the same fashion. It’s especially terrible and rough on the caregivers. In fact, many times the person with the disease outlives those who are caring for them.

    Death can be such a sweet relief, and we’ll always have those wonderful memories, even if they are around Lawrence Welk and the champagne dancers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you for sharing this. It is touching – and I also cannot imagine. A part of me wonders if it is easier to lose someone outright vs. being robbed bit by bit. I know that sounds harsh and neither is a good option… I guess, while I back peddle, I am saying for the grieving cycle – one may linger longer…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joe,

      Any way you lose a loved one is tough. But I’m with you, there’s nothing more cruel and heartbreaking than watching a formidable woman like my MIL descend into a vegetative state. Thank you for stopping by to read and leave a nice comment.



      Liked by 1 person

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