Hope…like a Butterfly

Hope departed when she died.  I often talk about it being the second time she left me…without saying good-bye.

Throughout her illness, I held out the hope that she might remember.  She rarely did.  Like a butterfly struggling to break free from its cocoon, her memories darted in and out of the sunlight, fought against the darkness of every night, and me.

Still, there was always that chance she might turn her head and recognize that I was part of her life.  Or had been, once.

It was overwhelming, at times a helpless feeling, as I stood  in the shadows of that familiar stranger wanting to become the missing piece of her puzzle of forgetfulness.  A puzzle left scattered, never to be completed.

Hope, for me, departed on June 29th, 2006, on the wings of a butterfly who never looked back, taking with it many desires and needs and dreams.  While hope can carry on its back an entire soul, lifting up sorrow and bringing back joy, it also takes many forms, depending on your perspective; wildly positive or very reserved, almost cautious. Most of us hope for better days, health, happiness or just some release of a heavy burden.  For me, it was the hope that my late mother would remember something beyond the walls of what Alzheimer’s allowed.  I kept hoping she would remember…me.  

 

When she passed away, that hope went along with her.   

 

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Doorway…

 

Another night of unsettling screams.  Cursewords mixed with prayers spread throughout the darkness.  Any chance of sleep was fleeting, just like the memories escaping from the room down the hall.  It would go on for hours, frenetic energy, fueled by a demon who made her keep searching and held the person she once was…hostage. 

I stood outside the doorway to her room, waiting for that one right moment to enter, hoping she might remember, armed in case she didn’t.  Tonight, my weapon of choice was a plate with oatmeal cookies instead of the graham crackers that she hated.  For a moment, I was a little girl again, clutching a teddy bear for comfort,  wanting, needing a mother who wasn’t there.

 

 

 

Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #53: Pitch Perfect

This week your Flicker of Inspiration prompt is to give us a pitch. A perfect pitch. Think of the description on the back of your favorite novel, the words that make you buy that book for your Kindle, the short paragraphs that let you know you MUST read that book.

I worked cookies into my pitch because of the role they played when I was caregiver for my late mother, thus the name of my book, “Another cookie, please!”.   Just about every combative situation (and there were many) could be dealt with by distracting her with a cookie, preferably chocolate chip.  Once, I made the mistake of handing her graham crackers which she promptly flung back at me.   The crackers made it clear across the kitchen table.  She had a good arm.

 

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It’s all…relative

Flicker of Inspiration #52: Speed Writing Prompt and Linkup

So your prompt is this: Write. Write for ten minutes without stopping. Your topic can be anything.  The important thing about this prompt is just writing. Get your thoughts down on paper and share them with us. Don’t edit. Don’t polish. Just write.

…….Timer set:  Go!

One thing any writer quickly learns is that the words you share aren’t always met with approval from others, especially family members.  However factual a story that one relates might be, there is always a different perspective from another source.  So be it.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that.  Respect what I have to say as well.

The years in dealing with my late mother as she struggled with Alzheimer’s were beyond difficult, the same as it is for anyone standing helplessly by as the disease creates a stranger where a loved one once stood.   It was during that time that I made the decision to document every incident and write my book of memoirs.  I don’t have to get long-winded about the amount of detail that goes into writing any book but one must always state the facts, without exaggeration, without innuendo and without malicious intent.  But, for me, there are times when some undercurrent of anger becomes pervasive.

I have journals with endless notes that chronicle my late mother’s medical and other issues as well as any interactions with her siblings.   Here on my blog, I’ve shared several chapters of my book and it was no surprise to me when a relative landed on a particular post while doing a Google search and elected to voice their opinion.  They were certainly entitled to do so but…the facts remain and I firmly stand my ground with anything that I’ve written.

There are always multiple sides to any story and people will believe what they choose, what makes them feel justified in a given situation.  As family relationships ebb and flow, the emotional tide of reason is anything but constant.  Enter an illness and all too often the confusion and fear associated with fleeting mortality tends to impact sensibilities.  Blood connects us as families, for the most part.  Years without communication drastically changes those dynamics. 

That is… until curiosity is piqued by an Internet search.

 

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