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OIP

Why does anyone start something new like a job, recipe, or project? Obviously, there is always some guiding influence which directs an individual to make changes, or choices, in life. Sometimes, we all have the need for a little adventure, both to move away from the boredom of a situation or…some need to leave more of a significant imprint in our lives. 

I feel that when a person spends a good deal of time reading the literary works of others, down deep inside is the urge to express themselves through writing. This applies to many other artful means of self-expression. Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, correct? One never knows how well their efforts will be acknowledged, even appreciated, unless they try. 

And so, I did just that several years ago. The trials and tribulations of dealing with a mother suffering with Alzheimer’s paved the way to document so much of what was slipping away, day after day. During her many sleepless nights, I sat up, ready to thwart her wandering and started drafting a book and building a website, something to leave behind for my children and grandchildren. A collection of all my mother forgot and even more that I was determined to remember. 

In many ways, I credit my late mother’s dementia for encouraging one of the very things she sought to destroy when I was a teenager…writing in a daily journal and documenting much of the pain that children endure as they struggle through their growing years. 

Ironic, and I often wonder how many others venture into new and positive challenges based on how they have lived, and the people involved. Is it a mission, of sorts, to redefine ourselves, or…rewrite the history of what has made us who we are?

In some ways, I’ve tried to do both.  

 

workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Tell us about why you started blogging to begin with. 

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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.

rose-flower-petal-rain-wet-raindrop                                                      

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.

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Look away…

It’s a standard warning on car mirrors: “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear”. Mirrors don’t always give a truly honest reflection. Sometimes, the mirror is warped; sometimes, it’s only our perceptions. When Alice went into her mirror, it was the world itself that was distorted. And yet at times, the mirror will show you true things that you weren’t aware of; something around a corner, or behind you, or on another spectral plane. People can even act as mirrors; they can show you yourself as others see you.

old woman - mirror

 

She constantly refused to look into a mirror, any mirror.

My mother.

It wasn’t because of vanity or due to failing eyesight.

She could see clearly, without eyeglasses, towards the end of her life.

It didn’t matter.

The reflection staring back was unrecognizable

To her.

That person, that old woman with gray hair and wrinkled skin was someone else.  “A witch” she often said as she quickly looked away from what she had determined was some creature hiding in the glass.  She would cover her face with both hands.   It wasn’t her, not by any means; she was young, in her twenties, still with dark hair and red lipstick.

In her mind.

Mother lived in long ago realities; the aging process stopped and did a U-turn back about fifty or more years once Alzheimer’s took control.   In some ways, I was envious.  She didn’t have to deal with life’s sorrows and responsibilities but that was nothing new.   For as long as I could painfully remember she always managed to look away from bothersome issues, seeing only what she wanted.  Comfortable, happy reflections.

I was never her mirror of choice.

thumbnailCAJIVYUL

 

workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Workshop…Writing Prompts for 4/4/19…Write a blog post inspired by the word: mirror.

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