A rose, by any other name, might be a Mother…..

I’m an early riser; my sleep patterns have remained fairly altered since my mother lived here and I learned to then survive on maybe two, or three hours of rest a night. That hasn’t changed much for I am still awakened in the middle of the night from a noise in the house or the sound of someone yelling.

Who, or what, is behind the ruckus, it’s always the same…a ghost, a shadow of my mother, angry and scared, nothing more.

During her episodes of sundowning, I would try to affect some reason, some calming words to settle her down and put my arms around her to comfort her outbursts.  Nothing worked except for cookies; a sweet distraction from her, sometimes violent, episodes.  As she sat and munched away, I would always take the opportunity to try and tune-in to whatever channel her mind was on at that moment.  It was always the wrong one. She would promptly dismiss me with her usual, “who are you?” and my retreat out of her room could not be fast enough.

I went outside to have my morning coffee today, standing on the deck near some miniature roses given to me by my daughter Jill for Mother’s Day. One tiny red bloom emerged, holding a raindrop between its petals much like a mother holding a newborn child.


When the sun eventually finds its way out of the cloud cover, that raindrop will disappear, leaving the rose-mother with empty arms.

Until it rains again, or the rose just withers away…..and dies.


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Write about a time you thought there was a ghost.



  1. Abby says:

    “much like a mother holding a newborn child” – sweet observation. I’d like to think that your mom is at peace now, no more nighttime ruckuses. And now I know the meaning behind the title of your blog!

    • Patty says:

      When my mother passed, Glenn Miller music was playing on the stereo; I hope she danced her way into eternity with those sweet sounds.

      Thank you, Abby.

      Stay safe.

  2. John Holton says:

    I had never heard of sundowning before today. We’ve been fortunate not to have had to deal with Alzheimer’s too often in my family. That must have been very difficult for you.

    • Patty says:

      Difficult for most families who stand-by and watch a loved one slowly drift away, John. The disease is cruel in as much as it sparks moments of recognition which brings a brief re-connection with the afflicted person. And, as quickly as that happens, they\’re gone again. Sundowning, at its best, can bring some comic relief; at its worst, a nightmare.

      Stay safe.

  3. Patty,

    This is beautifully, really beautiful!

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