I wanna be selected! (apologies to Alice Cooper)

What could be better than being picked, along with some really fabulous writers, to contribute to an anthology? Only one thing. To be picked for an anthology that is going to raise oodles of boodle for a cause that is very close to my heart, dementia.

My own mother didn’t live long enough to go into genuine Alzheimers but after several strokes she exhibited many signs of dementia, part of her brain having died-off. That was bad enough, seeing a highly-educated woman turning into a stumbling, mumbling wreck who couldn’t even form coherent demands for things she wanted. Just “crisp sandwich” became a frustrating effort of pantomime, telepathy and tantrums. “Cup of tea” we worked out very early on with a mime of a cup and then a hand signal of T or C indicating tea or coffee. Fortunately, at the best of times, her sense of humour broke through and she would pronounce a swearword perfectly clearly, causing us both to break into fits of giggles.

Forget me Not

I was to see the worst of full-blown Alzheimers in the husband of a client of mine, a sweet lady who came to me for English lessons because her son had married an American so she wanted to be able to surprise her daughter in law with some welcoming expressions and conversation. Yes, that’s the kind of nice lady I mean. She and her husband were not just partners in a marriage. They had run the local garage together for over 30 years so they were a team. That was until he was diagnosed and from then he went downhill very rapidly.

She continued to come to me but we forgot the English lessons and I just listened, hugged her and tried to give her some strength. Under no circumstances did she want to put her husband in a “home”. For the sake of the marriage they’d had and the man he’d been, she stayed loyal to the point of self-destruction.

When he got to the stage of defecating on the floor, blaming it on her and then turning violent, the medics stepped in and gave her no choice. She was devastated. Her brave, loyal heart was broken because she had shut him away. No matter how often I tried to explain to her that the lovely man she married actually died some time ago and she should remember him as he was, not that horrible stranger who came to live there in his place; she was inconsolable.

So that’s why I was more than eager to contribute a short story for this fabulous effort which you can read about HERE along with a list of the other authors who have given of their time and work so generously for a good cause.

I’ll be around the streets with my megaphone advertising when the anthology is for sale because I’d like everyone to buy one…it’s the only way you’ll get to see what I wrote!


5 thoughts on “I wanna be selected! (apologies to Alice Cooper)

  1. I wrote mine in honour of my mother in law who has now fallen into the grip of Alzheimer’s hands. When I worked as a social worker, I often told families that it worse for them than it was for the patient. I still believe this. Lily is happy in her own little world where we no longer exist. My husband and his siblings were mortified that they couldn’t provide the care their mum needed but she needed 24 hour 7 days a week care. She’s in a lovely home where the staff really do care. They don’t just see to her personal care needs and nutrition, they sit and talk to her, hold her hand, just BE with her. She has almost daily visits from her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She’s 91 next week.

    1. Wow – 91 is amazing and doing what you and your family do for her is just right. Full time care is impossible unless the world grants you the patience and time to do it. What a lovely way to remember her in the piece…x

  2. I tried really hard to write for this, but just couldn’t. It’s too close to home.
    My mum’s had Alzheimer’s for about three years, but it took until six months ago for my father to admit it. She has bone cancer too, and her pain meds are high.
    The Alzheimer’s is getting worse day-by-day and she finally got diagnosed about four months ago, but still in the diagnosis stage so no medication offered, although they said she could take meds that will keep the memory loss to what it is. However they’re taking so long, waiting for scans etc, that her memory is fading fast. She thinks she lives in another town now, where we grew up, and two weeks ago she knew where she was.
    It breaks my heart and it kills me seeing my gentle father dealing with this new person, who he loves and adore, but is watching change before his eyes.
    She still knows who we all are. but for how long?
    As a family we can’t talk about it, because Dad doesn’t want mum to realise what’s happening and we have to respect his wishes. I can’t comment or post about it on FB as family are on that. I barely talk to Dad about it, because he doesn’t want to know and he’s at mum’s side 24/7…
    So getting something written was beyond me at this point. We don’t know what the future holds…

    (Sorry, rambled a bit, but sometimes this just needs to come out…)

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