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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: The Audio Diary of Pansy Tyler
By Valarie Sullivan


Heard distantly and slightly muffled: “Is this thing on? Oh, the little deelies are turning, ok…”
Now, closer and much clearer:
“Ahem, Audio Diary of Pansy Tyler.
Tape 1.
Date- September…note to self look up date and insert.
Time- the clock on the dashboard says 6:03 pm, it is an hour behind…so its 7:03 pm.
I am driving down the interstate on my way to the West Coast.

It has been a few months since my diagnosis and I have taken an extended leave of absence from my work. Going to go see the shores of California, first, then take in the ocean on the East Coast. I’ve always wanted to see those, and now is my chance. I just love the seashore.
Getting Alzheimer’s wasn’t really a surprise, but it still hit me pretty hard. Thank God for the marvel of modern medicine. Ha! Try saying that three times fast! Marvel of modern medicine! They caught it before I became too ‘lost’ to function independently in the world.

Oh, snap! I missed my turn! Now I have to turn around….Yes, I am directionally challenged. Not a symptom, just a character flaw.

That is my new word, now. Snap! My friend Twila (you’ll remember her; she has the teased hair and the over the top nails. Wears paisley all the time.) My friend Twila and I were playing cards last night. She taught me how to play the game, Snap. Its an old one. She collects vintage card games and knows over one hundred ways to play Solitaire, which she calls Patience. She can play Gin Rummy in several different ways and who knows how many others.

Ok, back on the right road. Note to self. Get gas at the next town. You are almost out.

Anyway, Twila was dealing out the cards last night and made a very profound observation. She said that life deals the cards, but how you play them is up to you.

I told her not to go “Kenney Rodgers” on me and she gave me a blank look. The girl knows her vintage cards, but has no clue with music! I was trying to keep it light, for goodness sake. She was getting too serious!”

Long pause.

“Oh, snap! I topped this steep hill and my breath left me. Dear Lord, You do create pretty! What I am seeing is rolling hills, green and grey. Patches of fog lurking in the hollows. A tall tree here and there standing still and stately. The sun is setting under a clear sky and the colors are just marvelous! Breathtaking is hardly the word!

The only thing I regret in my life is not giving my mother grandchildren. I saw her yesterday, at the nursing home. She is doing well, making friends and playing canasta. Another vintage! I have decided that I don’t want to be in the same place. Its nice there, and the staff are caring. But I don’t think I want my mother watching me disappear. She went through that with Dad and she would want to help take care of me. That would be way too much stress for her heart condition.

Note to anyone who is listening to this tape. Please reaffirm to me the love of Jesus. Keep telling me how much I loved Him and depended upon Him for everything. Tell me repeatedly that He loves me and is waiting for me. I don’t know what I will be like during my foggier days, what kind of personality will come out. But keep in mind that I was basically a decent person and tried to be kind.

I hope that the marvel of modern medicine comes up with a cure soon and these tapes will be unnecessary. But you never know!

Oops! I’m out of gas!

Oh, Snap!”

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This article has been read 579 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 09/11/08
What a very creative format! I also like the way you sneaked the theme in there.
Well done
Leah Nichols 09/12/08
Very creative use of the topic! There are a lot of different points she makes in this short entry....definitely wanted to know more. You can place quotation marks at the beginnning of each paragraph to indicate that she's still speaking, or take out the descriptions and make the whole thing her diary entry to make it clear. Great idea - good job!
Joy Faire Stewart09/14/08
Even through the lighthearted remarks, the saddness comes through. Excellent job with the topic.
Celeste Ammirata09/14/08
What I like most about this is her wanting to remember Jesus, and the comfort He gives. Very touching. Nicely done
Deborah Engle 09/14/08
I like this unique approach a lot. What a wonderful way to deal with a hard diagnosis. Great job.
Gregory Kane09/14/08
Some great characterisation here - loved it. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry
Kristen Hester09/16/08
I loved this line:
"Oh, snap! I missed my turn! Now I have to turn around….Yes, I am directionally challenged. Not a symptom, just a character flaw."

This is bittersweet and very authentic. Good job.

Kristi Peifer09/16/08
Pansy sounds like quite the character! With a little bit of retooling, this would read really well as an actress' monologue!

I enjoyed Pansy's "note to self" moments and her plea to be reminded of her faith in Jesus.
Shelley Ledfors 09/17/08
I love your treatment of this subject. The humor works well. In one way diffuses the sadness of the situation, and in another way, highlights it. I love her admonition to keep reminding her of Jesus!
LauraLee Shaw09/17/08
Wow, this is so creative and an incredible approach to the topic. Since you begged for red ink, I have some really little suggestions. First, it would be a good idea to cut back on the exclamation points. Maybe just keep them at the end of the "Snaps" and leave the others with periods. Also it is spelled "Kenny Rogers." See? Little stuff. The tension tucked into the lightness made this a good read.
Karlene Jacobsen09/17/08
Very good. Love the descriptions, I almost felt as though I was in the car with her.

Nicely done.