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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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
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Genre: Too Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100
I WILL REMIND YOU
When I was a little girl my mother delighted in making birthdays memorable with shiny packages, bright balloons and colorful streamers. The cakes she decorated were works of art.
“I like red.” She looks at the birthday balloon I brought and then at me with a puzzled frown. Her eyes, once full of light, are little more than murky windows to a drifting soul.
“The eggs rolled out of the henhouse and smashed the cupcakes…” her voice trails off and the struggle to shape the words is evident. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember you.”
“It’s okay, Mom. I remember you.”
While my story this week is fictionalized it is based on a recent visit to my mother in law. Alzheimer’s is the cruelest of diseases for we mourn the loss of a loved one but her body still lives and breathes.
WELCOME TO FRIDAY FICTIONEERS.
As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints.
Henry David Thoreau said it best.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)
Make every word count.
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“Hard to believe you’ve been gone these many years, Alvin.” I stare at my wedding photograph taken in 1953. Or was it 1958?
“You should see Emerson. Looks like you when we met. So handsome and sure of himself.
“He took me to the grocery today. I got lost in the cereal aisle. Doddering old bat.
“You’d laugh at your ‘Mrs. Intellectual’, Alvin. Can no longer understand the books I wrote.”
“Mom, you need your rest.” Emerson shuts off the light.
“Please kill me.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Mean what? Tell your father to come to bed. It’s getting late.”