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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

By Celeste Duckworth


Dorothy Duckworth was in her 89th year on earth. All Dorothy knew was that the sun was up and it was shining through her hospital room. She would have to get up. To her it was just another day.

“Nurse, nurse, ummmmm, ummm,” she said as she pointed with bent, shaky fingers to her mouth.

“Yes Dorothy, I know. I have your meds here.”

“I wove you,” Dorothy said through twisted lips. She grasped the hand of the nurse and kissed it as tears began to form in the corner of her eyes.

“I wove you,” she repeated.

“Yes, yes, I know.” Nurse went about her tasks in the hospital room. She brought water to the table and arranged the little paper cups that held Dorothy’s medicine.

Dorothy couldn’t remember why she had to take the pills but did know she had to. With two hands she gently took the cups with the pills and poured the pills into her mouth. Then Nurse held the glass with the straw to her lips, Dorothy dodged and missed the straw twice but the third time did the trick and she blew bubbles into the water. She was pleased with herself and clapped.

“No, Dorothy, no! Don’t blow in......blow out!”

Dorothy understood and up the water rushed into her straw.

“You did good today, Dorothy.”

Dorothy smiled and said, “I wove you.”

“Today your family is coming to visit you for your birthday.”

Dorothy looked to Nurse without understanding.

“Your children are coming over today!” Nurse had raised her voice as if Dorothy was now deaf and not feeble.

Dorothy knew her tone meant she was upset so she smiled and said, “I wove you.” while trying to reach for her hand.

Nurse bristled and got Dorothy’s legs over the side of her bed to ready her for the shower and the beginning of her day.

She now sat in her bed with her pure white hair combed straight back and wearing her best pajamas. Tiny pink ruffles framed her neck and rested on her petite wrists. She sat in bed watching “The Price is Right.”

With a great blast of noise in the hall, her family began to stream into Dorothy’s room. The kids carried in a round two-tiered chocolate cake.

“Ma! Happy Birthday!” they bellowed as they rushed forward to hug Ma’s neck.

“We brought you a cake.”

Dorothy was temporarily shaken when suddenly something made a connection. Dorothy grabbed their hands and kissed them and said, “I wove you.” This time her tears streaked down her cheeks.

“Ma, Charlie hit a homerun at his last Little League game.”

“I wove you.” Ma said to Ted.

“I forgot that this was all she could say,” Ted whispered to his wife, Cher. Cher could see he was troubled by Ma’s inability to speak anything but the one sentence.

“Well, honey, say it back to her.”

“I love you too, Ma.” Ted then leaned over and kissed his mother on the forehead.

Dorothy grabbed his hand and kissed it. She pointed at him and said, “I wove you!”

Ted’s eyes looked everywhere but at his mother. Cher wondered if she saw his chin quiver.

“Let’s sing happy birthday to Ma,” Cher said.

Ted plunked the candles into the chocolate cake and moved closer to Ma’s bed.

“Ma, I’m going to light the candles and then you can blowout the lights.” Ted lit the candles and carried the chocolate cake over to his mother's bed. Everyone sang the birthday song then.

Dorothy looked at her son Ted with frightened eyes. Blowout sounded familiar. She had just done that this morning. Dorothy remembered. She took a deep breath and sucked up air....and kept sucking up air. Then she clapped and said, “I wove you.”

Ted just laughed and reached for his mother’s hand. “Ma, I wove you.” Then he blew out the candles for her as he kissed her hand.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon05/05/11
A well written heart wrenching story about a mother whose mind was damaged but it doesn't say how it was damaged.
diana kay05/07/11
sad and funny at the same time you "wove" it well
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/09/11
My heart ached as I waited for someone to say I loveyou too. You did a good job shedding a small light into the lives of an Alzheimer's patient and his family.