Wednesday, 25 April 2012

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012 V is for Violets


April A-Z blogging challenge 2012
The next story in this sequence of short stories of 250 words or fewer starts with V. All the stories are about the life and times of a fictional character called Alice.


Alice’s favourite flowers were violets, quiet, unassuming little plants that returned faithfully year after year. They had spread in her garden until they carpeted the grass under the trees, a perfect purplish-blue gift for tired eyes.

Alice was often weary. Ivy had broken her hip shortly after her 90th birthday and her recovery had been protracted.  She was scared of further falls and less independent and so needed constant companionship. Ruth kept her company at night but was still working so Alice volunteered to stay with her mother during the day. Ivy had a limited range of repetitive conversation, preferring to revisit well-worn topics rather than take an interest in current affairs. Alice found it hard to maintain a dialogue.

Gradually, Ivy’s character changed. She began to treat Alice like a servant, giving her orders and complaining in querulous tones. Dismayed, Alice realised that it was almost impossible to recognise her mother. Ruth was finding her difficult, too. When she started throwing things at them they realised they could no longer cope and found a care home for her where sympathetic staff looked after her and calmed her as best they could.

Alice and Ruth visited her regularly but soon she didn’t know them and was confused by their presence. There were brief moments of clarity when she asked after Daniel.

Ivy died in 1990, aged 93. Alice grieved but was also relieved. Her mother’s last two years had been filled with bewilderment and distress. Finally she was at peace.

11 comments:

  1. It's sad when people start to become forgetful, and lash out at their loved ones. :(

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  2. I can relate to this as both my grandmothers suffered from dementia.

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  3. A story very much for our times, and charmingly told - as have they all been, that I have read.

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  4. Dementia is hard to cope with. I think Alice and Ruth were smart to find a nice home for Ivy's last two years.

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  5. It is hard when someone changes so drastically in old age, but at least they knew they did the best for her and had many memories of her earlier life. And yes, Ivy is now at peace.

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  6. It's hard to see that change come over those we love and even harder having to deal with it on a daily basis in the role of caregiver. I think maybe it's that change in our loved ones that makes it just that little bit easier to let them go.

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  7. Oh yes, the curse of old age. I fear that is growing more prevalent these days.

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  8. How sad but it seems more and more common. Dementia robs everyone...a very cruel disease.
    Hugs~

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  9. There is a lot of truth and pain in this story. Well done.

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  10. Oh so sad but realistic as well. Both I and close friends have seen dementia in the last days of family members' lives.

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  11. Hi Janice . you've described it well - and it's always tough on the family members who care.

    Love the thought of violets around the tree - they're so pretty - cheers Hilary

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