It was time again to visit my father at Cornerstone Home. He had been a patient here for seven years; his quick deterioration meant I needed help. Lewy body dementia stole all his prized memories, leaving behind well-formed hallucinations and a long trail of delusions. A once soft-spoken man, now prone to fits of anger. They provided the best care and dignity to my father here; for that I would always be grateful. Although I regretfully admitted coming here is something I no longer wanted to do – his body remains here but his mind could no longer be found.

Walking into the well-lit room I noticed the large picture window. The sun spilled through it onto my father. His hair once black as night, now grey with tinted blue hues. Carrying a large conch shell under my arm, I was digging extra deep in my near-emptied optimism barrel. Hopefully, this would jog some hidden memory tucked away safe in his hippocampus. I laid the conch gingerly on the glass coffee table directly in his view.

I sat down beside him focusing on his eyes as I always had done. He had to be in there somewhere. Emotions soon overcame me. How would I ever reach him? As a young child my dad, a marine biologist, would take me on the beach to pick sea glass. We would hunt for shells, and lovingly he referred to me as princess. As a young girl I knew him to be the king of kings. I never dreamt that one day he would be uncrowned. Now he doesn’t know his own daughter.

Disheartened, my visit now over, it is time to gather my things.  I unexpectedly heard a soft voice; it was dad. He said, “Genie, listen to the shell and you’ll always hear the ocean”. Happiness washed away my sadness.  Dad did not disappear. That day I decided, I understood, he had just gone for an extended beach vacation. It is where he had been all along. And there he would always be king.

0 0 votes
Post Rating
Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

I sat with you, I felt the sadness and anxiety. I wanted to be there for you.
You did what all writers try to do – that is to connect with the reader.
It’s a terrible disease that steals, but it can never steal the love that has been given and shared over the years – that’s what brings you back each time you visit.
That’s the real message I find in your story.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

The story touched me with its bittersweet example of love. The end sends chills down my spine no matter how many times I read it. Incredible job!

musing mind
musing mind (@musing-mind)
1 year ago

Your story describes how important it is for us to spend time with our aging parents. The moments you have described with the father are precious.

Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.
Leena Auckel
Leena Auckel (@leena-auckel)
1 year ago

I loved your story. You described how dementia changed his life in a gripping manner. A nice read.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Melissa, you have depicted dementia and the difficulties families go through perfectly. My mother is in care with Alzheimer’s and I know well the sadness of wondering where she went to and the joy of those brief moments when she seems to return. It is hard to explain it to others who have no experience with dementia but your story portrays all the sadness and then comes to a heartwarming conclusion. I haven’t seen Mum for 6 months due to Covid-19, so wonderful to read this morning 🙂

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

This story moves me and it makes me emotional. It penetrated my heart. Good job. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Comments without a personalized avatar will not be published.
Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
11 months ago

Melissa, yes it is very hard but the children must be thankful for they still have a chance to let their sick parents feel their love and care.

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

Melissa, this is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story. You approached the difficult topic with sensitivity and caring.

Become a PatronHelp support our family-friendly mission

Most Voted Comments

Avatar
8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


Avatar
5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


Avatar
4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


Avatar
3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


Avatar
3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


Avatar
3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


Avatar
3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


Avatar
3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


Avatar
3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


Avatar
3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


Recent Comments


www.Voice.club

Upcoming Site
Maintenance
Scheduled for Today @ 8:45am ET

USA Timezone – Eastern Time – (GMT-5)

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds


Voice-Team will perform upgrades and add new features!

During our scheduled maintenance
Voice.club will be inaccessible

14
0
Selected Authors may submit comments (5 Credits)x
()
x
Scroll to Top

Sharing a Post

Why do my friends need to SignIn to read the post I shared?

Actually, this is a voting security feature. During public voting, only club members can read posts submitted for that contest. Since anyone reading the story is able to vote (click the Like button), we reserve these capabilities to members who SignIn. Before we implemented this security feature, people were voting multiple times and making the public voting process unfair and out of balance. To fix this, our staff finally decided to allow only members who SignIn to read the stories. Membership is free and easy, and ensures our club is safe, secure, and family-friendly!