11/09/2014

LOOKING AFTER MOTHER - 100 word fiction

LOOKING AFTER MOTHER      

My world has shrunk to this.
I should be grateful – they’ve decorated the room and hung pretty curtains, but the window’s double-glazed, and although I can see the children having a snowball fight I can’t hear them.
I'm afraid to look in the mirror in case I've disappeared.

I wanted to go outside yesterday but I couldn’t find my boots, and I knew Edith had hidden them when she said, “You could break your hip, Mum, and then where would you be?”
In a nursing home is where I’d be, with other people to talk to.

I think I’ll get my coat.

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This lovely photo prompted my story, thanks to Rochelle at:
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
Follow the link on her blog to read a hundred other stories - all free!
And my Tenerife apartment's still for sale - see the link at the top of my blog.

37 comments:

  1. Very sad but moving portrayal of what it's like to get older and become dependent on others... not that I personally am anywhere near that age!

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    1. Of course you aren't, Perry - and neither am I!

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    2. Don't believe a word of it. Mr. Methuselah (Perry) is having another birthday today. He remembers when God invented dirt.

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    3. You are obviously a friend of his, Russell - I'm sure he's delighted about that!

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  2. nice take on the prompt. i think you know you're getting old when you realize the world is narrowing before your eyes.

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    1. Yes - the number of possible options shrinks.

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    2. A nice twist as most people assume old people don't want to go in a home. The alternative can be very lonely. I enjoy your 100 word flash fiction. Thankyou.

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    3. Thanks Maggie - even if you did have a slip of the finger on your smart phone!

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  3. Very touching. After a certain age, it does seem as if we become "invisible"...Nicely done.

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    1. Thanks Grace - I am rapidly approaching a certain age myself!

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  4. I loved that last line. I'm not sure whether it will be universally recognised but it was the perfect ending for this piece.

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    1. thanks Sandra - not every old lady wants to be wrapped in cotton wool - my own 90 year old mum is an example!

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    2. I agree, Sandra. That was just the way to end. Better to live and enjoy than to be bored to death.

      janet

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  5. Sorry my reply should have appeared here. That's smart phones for you!

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    1. I haven't succumbed to one of those yet!

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  6. The sadness of growing old. I hope she finds new friends soon. Well written.

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    1. I;m sure she will if she's prepared to risk a broken hip to find them!

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  7. Losing one's independence has to be tough. First they take your driver's license then put you in a home. You're forced to wear a drool bib at meals and play Bingo until your mind goes numb. I'm not really looking forward to it.

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    1. Then don't go. Refuse to follow the crowd. Live alone till you're 90 like my Mum is doing and like I plan to. Soddem all!

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  8. If you think it´s bad , try being the caregiver : in the final two years my life contracted into - rise , care , shop ( while the nurse was there ) , care , sleep , rise , care ...
    you do it for love but the price is brutal : I lost my friends , my health , my life in the almost six years of the final decline , not including the broken kneecap a decade ago .
    you do it for love but sometimes the price is too high to survive intact .

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    1. I don't usually post anonymous comments, but this one touched me. My mother cared for my father for years and I helped her, often staying with him so she could go away with a friend. It's not easy, but a 100 word story can only tell one side - this time I picked the other.

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  9. To get old and see the world shrinking around you to that single room.. How sad really..

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    1. Very sad, but she was making a bid for a bit more space!

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  10. the journey through life if filled with many foibles.
    Nothing is easy, but everything is an opportunity.
    We can focus on cheating something to have a little delight.

    a little bootless walk outside is worth being yelled at.....

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    1. And maybe she threw a snowball or two?

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  11. It can be hard to know what to do for the best sometimes, can't it? We want to take care of those we love, even if they don't want to be taken care of.

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    1. Second childhood isn't only a state of mind - sometimes it's thrust on the elderly willy-nilly.

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  12. Dear Liz,

    Love your twist on a sad tale. Good on Mum for asserting her independence. Well told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks Rochelle - I agree - good for her!

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  13. I like how you've told this. Three cheers for the mum! She's got spirit. I want to be like that when I get to that age. Just let them try to hold me down!

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  14. Now I'm seventy - gasp! - this kind of thought occurs to me sometimes. I plan on being a stubborn old biddy.

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  15. Go Mom! Loneliness can sometimes be worse than death

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    1. You're right there Alicia - although she could try talking seriously to her daughter about her needs!

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  16. Liz, A broken hip is something to be avoided. And if a senior can stay at home it's best. unless they have Alzheimer's, etc. and can't be properly cared for any more. If you're not sufficiently well fixed with cash, at least in the U.S., all your money is used up at a nursing home and you go on welfare. I know because my mother had Alzheimer's and was in a nursing home. She lived to 93.

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    1. PS - I know there's another side to this story, and I have seen both of them. Your experience reflects my own with my father, but my mother is fiercely independent at 90.

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  17. Dear Lizy, So the daughter hid her boots - why didn't she help her mother put them on and add some cleat's to help her walk - oh and the daughter - perhaps she could help her mother go for a walk outside. I don't know. Good story as usual!
    Nan :)

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    1. Thanks Nan - this story has collected more comments and different points of view than most -a ticklish subject, obviously!

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