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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Dementia's Christmas
By Marijo Phelps


Dementia’s Christmas

Hum, somebody said "Margaret", but that lady has white hair and MY Margaret is a little girl…. This lady’s coming to my table and she called me mom..... but that just is not right, is it?

Now she’s asking me what we are eating for lunch. It is right there on the table, can she see it or doesn’t she really know? I don’t understand. Maybe she is testing me?

The other lady’s pin says Jane, RN. I am an RN and maybe I am supposed to help instead of sitting here eating…..

The Margaret lady is giving me a box, let me peek. Ohhhh, those round things – they smell so good. I remember something. The girls were little and we always made these. Hum, girls, yes, my daughters. I don’t see them here.

And right here in the dining room is that pretty green thing with the lights, they sparkle and shine. I forgot what they call it. And there is straw and a mommy and daddy and that baby. I REMEMBER Him. He came. HE forgave me. Oh, I am clean and free! I DO remember that.

What, there is another box. CHOCOLATE – it smells wonderful and we made those too at…. um…. Oh what was His name? It was for His birthday.

Who are they talking about, that lady with the white in her hair and the Jane RN?

“She’s eating well and sometimes knows her name?”

I know MY name! I’m, I’m…..No, maybe that’s my sister’s name. I really just wish they’d let me eat chocolate and those cinnamon-y things instead of this noodle chicken stuff. Why does that lady look like me?

Oh, no, I knocked over my cup. That spoon doesn’t work but my fingers do. Oh, now that lady is wiping my hands on a rag. She’s telling me I need to wear a skirt or pants but not both at the same time and that I need to change my pajama top.

Why is she getting my coat and telling me we are going for a ride to buy a sweater? Oh, my brain…

“Hi, you look familiar, do I know you? You look kind of like me but I think you are older.”

Why is she calling me mom? I can’t possibly be that old. She seems like a really nice lady so I guess I can go with her for a ride.

Someone called her Margaret again. I DO have a Margaret, but she is much, much younger than this lady. I remember it was just last month we made those cinnamon-y things, wasn’t it?

I wonder why she has tears in her eyes and is giving me such a big hug? The least I can do is hug her back! Those boxes she handed me smell wonderful!

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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 10/23/08
Ahhh...what a touching story!
You may want to put her 'comments' to herself in italics.
I like the POV! Well done!
Amy Procter10/24/08
Wow.. this was very powerful. My mother-in-law was just diagnosed with Alzheimer's, so this story really pulled me in with your MC's thoughts.
Very nicely done, with a subject not easy to tackle.
Racheal Chand10/25/08
Great story. I agree with making sure you separate what the main character is thinking and saying. Good job.
Karlene Jacobsen10/25/08
Very interesting POV, coming from inside the brain of the one living with the disease.
I also agree about the thinking vs. talking differentiation.
Good job telling.
Karlene Jacobsen10/25/08
Maybe you know this already, but when I was new here, I had no idea how to get italics and other things to work. My original draft is complete with it all, but it shows up here without.
Place at the beginning of the text to be italicized and at the end.
Karlene Jacobsen10/25/08
Sorry I messed that up. use the arrow keys before and after text, with an i wrapped in there. In the one at the end of text use the<> with a /i inside.
Joshua Janoski10/25/08
This was a unique take on this week's topic. Memory diseases are so sad, especially for the families of those being affected with them. I enjoyed the way you ended this, and I look forward to reading more of your stuff. :)
Debbie Roome 10/26/08
This was well written and a glimpse of how confusing life with Alzheimers must be.
Beth B10/27/08
What a touching story! It was interesting to read what a person with dementia could be thinking. If you are dealing with a loved one who has dementia - my heart goes out to you. My mother had Alzehimer's, so I know how hard it is on the family. I wished I could have known what her heart. I could only guess. Your story has helped me to see in her mind. Thanks for sharing.
Seema Bagai 10/27/08
You tackled a tough topic and presented it well. Good job.
Celeste Ammirata10/28/08
I love the pov in this story. You did a wonderful job portraying her confusion and her past memories. I love the ending. Great job!
Betty Castleberry10/29/08
I love this. You've given us a unique insight into an Alzheimer's victim. Well done.
Marlene Austin10/29/08
Emotionally toiling scenario. Well written. :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/29/08
Excellently told. It seems that's just the way one with dementia would think.
Laury Hubrich 10/29/08
I love your title. Very fitting for this entry. So sad. Very, very...
Leah Nichols 10/30/08
I liked this very much - you told the story well with a great POV. Even the lack of italics didn't take away from this story....it reads beautifully. Nice work!