‘Hey Mum,’ she whispered gently while placing a hand on her Mother’s shoulder. Her Mother woke up with a start, her knitting tumbling from her lap to the floor below. She gazed at her daughter, momentarily confused, and then smiled in recognition.

“Hey Love, how are you? Did you bring Kate?’

‘No Mum, Kate’s at school, it’s just me today.’

Her Mother nodded in agreement and retrieved her knitting from the floor. She eased the stitches back on the needles and soon the rhythmic clicking began.

Sienna watched her Mum knit as she had done countless times before, her fingers moving over the wool in a familiar, soothing dance. Her small neat stitches growing into rows that would become squares that no one would ever use. ‘Not much of a day is it?’ her Mother stated, ‘Could do with some sun.’ Sienna turned to face the window overlooking the carefully manicured lawn and the cherry blossom trees circling it proudly. The window perfectly framed the Spring day outside and the endless blue sky. ‘Sure could Mum,’ she agreed. She stared at the trees a little longer, lost in her thoughts, remembering Kate running through those trees as a child, so many years ago now, laughing as the soft pink blossoms fell over her gently.

The clicking stopped. Her Mother’s eyes had closed and she leant forward in her chair, the knitting slipping from her grasp. Sienna moved forward and reached for it before it could fall. Her Mother woke up with a start. She gazed at her daughter, momentarily confused, and then smiled in recognition.

‘Hey Love, how are you? Did you bring Kate?’

‘No Mum, Kate’s at school, it’s just me today.’

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago

A gentle, loving portrayal of a heartbreaking illness. What shines through in this story is the eternal and transcendent nature of love.  Good job!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Dementia is such a difficult thing to deal with, especially when it is happening to a loved one. I saw many cases during my nursing career, and it’s so heartbreaking watching it progress, both for the person, especially if it’s someone who had previously been highly intelligent, and for the family and close friends, having to accept them as a different person. This comes across very well in your story, and the clues to the true situation are nicely placed throughout to help with the story progression. Very well done.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles (@susan-giles)
7 months ago

What a beautiful story. Sienna’s acceptance and love of her mother shines through. I like your device of restating an earlier sentence for the closing. Very effective.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello Lisa, it is the knitting that strikes me, the repetition, holding onto the past over the loss of a child. A nice write Lisa.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

Beautiful writing, Lisa. I love the tenderness and the growing understanding I, as a reader, get as I gradually understand the circumstances. I loved the sentence with the “small neat stitches growing into rows that would become squares that nobody would ever use.” It is very poetic and touching.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago

The loss of memory, thinking, and behaviour in an old woman is skilfully portrayed by the literary device of repetition in your poignant tale. Nice job, Lisa.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Gledhill

You’re welcome.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago

So very beautifully written, Lisa! My mother has Alzheimer’s and has been in care for a while, and now it seems my father is also in the early stages. Sometimes it’s difficult to listen to the same stories, answer the same questions over and over but your story is a reminder for me to be a little more patient and accepting. Very well done 🙂

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Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Gledhill

Thank you, Lisa, for a very timely reply. I just got off the phone with Dad being a bit ‘contrary’! There are so many people dealing with parents and other relatives with Dementia and Alzheimer’s and your story helps to promote awareness for those who haven’t been touched by it and comfort for those who have. Again, very well done  ? 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

My tears are shedding while reading your story. I can imagine myself in the situation of a mother with dementia. I too am experiencing mild dementia at my young age, sometimes I have a problem remembering even the name of my friend and even the valuable things of mine I forgot where I put my wallet and so on. Which, I am afraid that it will get worse when I got older.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Gledhill

Thank you, Lisa.

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