“I’m chilly.” Patricia shouted up to her daughter Maria. “Can you fetch me my cardigan?”

Maria appeared in her mother’s orderly bedroom. There was no cardigan in sight. She shouted back “Where did you put it?”

“Maybe in the wardrobe?” Patricia questioned.

Maria opened the wardrobe door and was immediately speechless. The inside of the door was covered in notes. Dozens were faded, while others had new ink. There were almost a hundred to Maria’s eyes. She recognized her mother’s penmanship. At school she’d copied it on forms and permission slips, and knew the arches and twists better than her own. Bewildered, she pulled five off.

My name is Patricia.
My husband was Frank.
I have three children.
My cat’s name is boots
I was born in 1947.

Thoughts rushed through Maria’s mind, but she couldn’t metabolize them. She heard her mother’s footfall. She grabbed the cardigan and bounced her leg nervously. Her tears fell silent. Patricia appeared and stood in the doorway. She looked sullenly at her open wardrobe.

“Mom…what’s going on?” Maria looked deep into her mother’s eyes.

“My life is waning. My memories, my long-ago adventures and my ideas are leaving me.” Patricia sniffled. “I’m confused for weeks at a time. I don’t know who I am or where I belong. I’m transforming into something I no longer recognize, and it terrifies me.” Maria held her mother close and refused to let her go. She ran her fingers lovingly through her curls. She rubbed her back. She kissed her cheek.

“I promise to never again let you forget.” Maria gently whispered. “You may be transforming, but you’ll always be my mother.”

Patricia later wrote one more note for her closet. This one said, “I have a daughter and her name is Maria.”

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    6 months ago

    The transformation here is a sad one, yet the ending is uplifting. Life is made of many changes—some of them heart-breaking—but love remains.

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

    Melissa, your story left me speechless. What a touching story it was. I can’t even imagine how terrified and perplexed someone must feel when they realise they are slowly forgetting everything about their lives. You did an excellent job in depicting it.

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

    How sad are those little notes hidden away but thankfully found by a loving daughter enabling her to understand how her mother is feeling and provide the love and support so desperately needed. As a woman, the same age as the mother, I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to find yourself in her situation. As always, a sensitively written story, Melissa, that touches the heart and stays with us.… Read more »

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

    As so many times before, Melissa, you skillfully manage to lead the reader into a situation in a unique way, so that a surprise emerges in the story. I love the way you use the cardigan as the means for the daughter to find her mother’s hidden notes. The conversation that follows between them is warm and tender and leads to a satisfactory ending in spite of the gruesome situation.

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

    As usual, you have handled a difficult subject with great sensitivity, Melissa. I looked after so many patients with varying stages of dementia, and it was heartbreaking to see how it affected families in different ways. I’m glad your protagonist has a supportive family, not everyone does unfortunately.

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

    Melissa, your tender story brought me to tears. So terribly sad to lose one’s memory and actually realise it. Love your unique way of alerting the daughter to her mother’s dementia or Alzheimer’s through the notes. Well done! So glad I monthly volunteer to entertain elders with memory loss. Sad that after leading such wonderfully dynamic lives- trilogy writers, caterers for colleges, community ministers – they are so reduced. Blessings to wonderful… Read more »

    Lisa Dykes
    Lisa Dykes(@lisa-dykes)
    6 months ago

    This is a great story, Melissa.Captures so much.

    Kelly Maze
    Kelly Maze(@kelly-maze)
    6 months ago

    Wow! This was such a powerful story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every word. Thanks for writing such a precious piece.

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

    Wow! What a moving piece, Melissa. You manage to deliver it perfectly with tender and sensible words. Very well done.

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

    You’re welcome. Yes. I am fine here, Melissa. How about you there?

    Thompson Emate
    Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
    6 months ago

    Melissa, this is a very emotional story. I can deeply relate to It. My grandmother had the same issue before she passed on. It was a difficult issue to deal with but thank God for the resilience of my auntie.

    N Jungeberg
    N Jungeberg(@n-jungeberg)
    6 months ago

    Excellent and heartfelt! Some transformations bring tears to our eyes, don’t they? Sad, but lovely story of care, concern and understanding of a daughter for her dear mother. Thank you for sharing your writing with us!

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