I watch father through a panel of glass.
I long to remove my mask and give him a hug, but the nursing home will not allow it.
Perhaps tomorrow, I tell myself.
For him, you have all the time in the world.
Marjan Sierhuis loves reading 50-word stories.
Mom shuffles to the car, back stooped, frustrating tremors slowing her progress.
Walker, bed rail, shower seat, suitcase, and a box rattling with pills are packed for her visit.
She struggles to fasten her seatbelt, so I help.
“Thanks… Getting old isn’t for wimps, you know.”
I smile, feeling blessed.
Tawnia is an elementary teacher in Ontario who started writing a few years ago. You can find her on Twitter @TawniaCourage.
I get mad at him
I blame him
Sometimes I can barely tolerate him
Then, I have to remember
He has dementia
He can’t always help what he says or does.
When he’s rude, annoying, overbearing
I have to remind myself
To have patience.
He has dementia.
What’s my excuse?
Edna Deeter is an American freelance writer. She is currently living with her husband who is suffering from dementia.
Who stole my youth?
When I hired a detective, he discovered the truth. “They were in it together, these two,” he said, passing me their photos.
Father Time showed no remorse, his face kind and gentle.
Mother Nature was unrepentant. “Honestly, darling,” she said when questioned, “what did you expect?”
Kate Fellowes has published six mysteries, most recently A Menacing Brew. Her short stories have appeared in many publications, from Woman’s World to Crimestalker Casebook. Working in a public library, every day is a busman’s holiday for her. She blogs at katefellowes.wordpress.com.
I let the tears fall. Years in that house… So many memories. Pictures that hung on the wall my entire life. Gone. Emptied out; packed up; now just boxes. Granddad’s gone. Grandma’s in a nursing home. Just an address now.
Still this place holds me, locked deep within my soul.
Alyce Clark is adjusting to sheltering in place, practicing social distancing when shopping for essentials… and truly missing her grandmother.
Ensconced in a wheelchair, my mother holds up her feet and wiggles them, showing off new pale beige moccasins, fur-lined, soft and roomy for her swollen feet. “My sister got them for me,” she tells a nursing home attendant, gleeful. But really it was me, her daughter, become unimaginably old.
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash chapbook The Missing Girl is available from Black Lawrence Press. Find her online at jacquelinedoyle.com and on Twitter at @doylejacq.
We would watch the same series on TV every night. There was something reassuring in watching the bedraggled, anti-social detective’s steady but honourable mental decline. She’d point at the screen and joke that that was me. Since my diagnosis she doesn’t say it anymore, but then she doesn’t need to.
John Peter Kay is a primary school teacher by day, and a poet by stealth; who finds time to write during his commute to work. He irregularly reads his work with Ware Poets. After a decade abroad, John now lives with his wife and daughter near London in the South of England. His blog can by found at balloonysaintjohn.wordpress.com
At the hospital, I find mum. She looks concerned, like I’m not dressed warm enough. I hold her hand, thank her for all she was and kiss her cold frown. On the wall there’s a whiteboard with her name scrawled on it and a section titled Patient’s Needs. It’s blank.
Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy. Find him on Twitter at @gilesmon.
My mother’s memory of the poems surprised me. I’d sit with her and listen to her recite, after years of never hinting that she knew any poetry. I wonder if she was reminded of the young farm girl she once was, standing in front of her father, practicing until perfect.
Janine lives and writes in Portland, Oregon where she can’t help but be influenced by the leafless trees shrouded in fog. Winter has its beauty.
A child star, she’d been acting all her life. She’d played the beautiful princess, the glamorous wife, the sexy secretary.
At 35, roles disappeared.
She booked in quick: nipped, tucked, tightened.
Next audition they loved her: “Perfect cheekbones; sensual pout.” Booked her for a Hollywood blockbuster.
Playing George Clooney’s mother.
Jo Withers writes micros, shorts, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work is featured or forthcoming in Ellipsis Zine, Molotov Cocktail, FlashBack Fiction, Milk Candy Review and Lunate. You can follow Jo on Twitter at @JoWithers2018.