The word ‘umbrella’ was missing for three hours. If I hadn’t asked the cashier for ‘one of those thingies’ and been asked, ‘What, an umbrella?’ who knows how long it would’ve carried on…

I’ve no idea how long I lost the phrase ‘water bottle’. Didn’t need it until I did. I had to make the gesture of drinking an invisible something.

Disappearing words. You know straight away from the worried look on a face you don’t recognize. They could be anyone. Have any name. And right then the words ‘umbrella’ and ‘water bottle’ come to you worthlessly.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Your micro writing makes me think and question, Melissa. I would love to sit down with you and ask so many questions about your enigmatic story.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
5 months ago

What a well-written, disturbing story, Melissa. You’ve encapsulated the feeling of helplessness that must accompany memory loss. We’ve all experienced fleeting moments like this – they get more frightening as we grow older. You’ve certainly set a high bar for this micro contest!

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

Melissa, this is such a heartbreaking story. It’s such an awful situation to be in. As a nurse, mainly working with the elderly, I had a lot of experiences with caring for patients with Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease and various other disorders that cause memory loss of varying degree. It’s heartbreaking to see people losing parts of who they are. I have an aunt who no longer recognises her own husband because she remembers him how he looked when they first met. I suffer myself, frequently losing words due to my fibromyalgia. I find that I hate speaking to people who don’t know me because I fear that I sound mentally deficient when I’m losing every other word. I get frustrated and angry with myself, which is why I would much rather write than speak to people. Well done.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

How well you have captured the frightening signs of Alzheimer’s, Melissa and how those suffering must feel. I know how frustrated I can be when I’m unable to recall a word, it’s unimaginable what those who suffer from this terrible disease go through. A heart-breaking story.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Melissa, this is such a sad reality for so many people. I read your comments too and also hope they would somehow find a cure soon. Just thinking how frustrating it is to not remember a word every once in a while, I cannot begin to understand how it must feel if it happens constantly. It must be terrifying. This was well-written.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
5 months ago

Poignant, heartbreaking, but I love it. Such a beautiful piece of writing that evokes emotion into us all. I think it’s one of those things I fear the most! I love your response to Margarida too about how you see remembering as trying to grasp water, because that’s exactly what it’s like!

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Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
5 months ago

I completely agree! And I think you wrote the subject perfectly!

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

The truth behind your story is tearful and frightening, Melissa. I can’t quite imagine having Alzheimer’s disease. That is a very difficult situation. It is very well-written and well portrayed. Nice one. I love it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
5 months ago

You are welcome, Melissa.

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Juma
Juma(@juma)
4 months ago

This is a well-written story, Melissa. You’ve used every word wisely and your use of first person makes it a personal experience. The last line, when the words “umbrella” and “water bottle” come back, especially packs a punch. Excellent writing.

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

This is such a great story to show from inside what it’s like to suddenly miss words in your vocabulary! I especially love the last word in your story, when you say that the words come back “worthlessly”, a great play with words.
As you say, this happens to all of us once in a while. Most of the time, we can blame circumstances. For me, for example, when I can’t find a word in Spanish, I tell myself, “Well, Spanish isn’t my native language. It wasn’t a big deal that I couldn’t remember that word.” Next time, when I can’t find a word in Swedish, i think, “Well, I speak so little Swedish these days. It isn’t surprising if I forget words.” So, you see, I have an advantage when it comes to explains wordlessness.

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