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?”