Still, Life

She didn’t say much anymore.

Her mind had gone. She knew it.

Talking to the strangers masquerading as her children was hopeless. She had lost the woman they loved. And she had lost them, somewhere in that fog in her brain where memories were like missing pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that had once been her life.

So she stopped talking.

Still Life (Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy)

Nothing to say.


Shells are pretty amazing.

And smooth pebbles.

Blue bottles.


Stacking. Spiraling.

Ticking clock beating her heart out to say, I’m still here to the One who knew. Had known her before shells. Gravity. Blue.

Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Word limit:100. Word count: 100

40 thoughts on “Still, Life

    1. Dementia and Alzheimer’s have devastated people in my life as well. Yet I trust that in their fright and loneliness the God in whom they have always trusted reaches in to comfort and keep them as only their Father can.


  1. You’ve handled this with such sensitivity and love. Starting out, it’s tempting to feel sorry for her — but — we sort of get caught up in the wonder of seashells and blue things, right along with her. And she’s not alone, with the One still listening to her and knowing her. Great write — really — this is wonderful.


  2. Dear JD,

    This was a very evocative story that illustrates as well as any story can, the fragility of consciousness, of mind. We are like obdurate rocks slowly being worn down by the sea. In the end, it is always the sea that wins.

    Very well done.

    Are you new here? If so, welcome to the party, pal.




    1. I like your image of the “obdurate rocks slowly being worn down by the sea” – I wish I had thought of that myself, it’s so fitting to the story. Or maybe that’s another story 🙂 But we are like shells, fragile beings, though there is a sense, as you point out, of the sea. Intimations of immortality. Yes, I am new to Fictioneers – thank you for the friendly welcome!


  3. Dear JanuarysDreamer,

    What a terrible place to be in. My mother in law is in this place. It’s very hard to watch, particularly for my husband. Very nicely written.

    And while I’m at it, welcome to Friday Fictioneers. I feel it only fair to warn you that it’s much like The Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave. 😉




    1. Thanks, Rachel. It is a tough subject to write on; you can only sense the fear and loneliness, and the isolation is so very real to them and to us. Communication – in whatever sense it happens -becomes all the more treasured.

      I love being able to participate on your site. Thanks for the welcome to the “Hotel” – Given all the comments from your regulars, I think I already know what I’m in for and it’s very creatively addictive indeed 🙂


  4. January Dreamer, Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! Lovely story with a delicate treatment of dementia. My mother had Alzheimer’s. I believe God was kind to her. She died peacefully in her sleep at almost 93 with a smile on her face. Well written. — Susan


    1. Thanks for the welcome and comments.
      I cannot agree with the great poet Dylan Thomas who chides his dying father saying, “Do not go gentle into that good night,/Old age should burn and rage at close of day;/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
      I would like to go as your mother did, gently, with a smile on my face, knowing that the dying of one day’s end means the beginning of another far brighter and eternal.


  5. I really llove what you did with the prompt, and your title’s very good. Great portrayal of her mind, still working, and of her personality, still in this world, still connected.


  6. Not sure how I missed this one. Seems like I have missed a few.
    On other hand seems like I was led to this TODAY .. many months later when it would have extra meaning, for it was only last night I came to the realisation it could be happening to my mum.
    She has very irrational and I am ashamed to say I have been quite argumentative thinking she was being difficult – for her mind is sharp as a razor at other times. But she was so unbelievably irrational last night I suddenly had no choice but to accept it – this is coming in waves.

    I think deep down I was fighting in denial. I am now moving to the acceptance stage … and your words are right there helping me. Thank you my friend for your writings.


    1. Dear sweet Rose, It was happening to one in our family for years and it so happens that those closest are the ones most resistant to signs of dementia as our loved ones age. As you say, there are stages of acceptance we go through as there are stages of decline on the part of the sufferer. Go easy on yourself as you pray for the grace to meet the challenge, knowing God knows the way and will guide you. Put me on the list of one who will be praying for you and your dear mother. And thank you for letting me know my writings are of some comfort you. An unexpected blessing to me today.


    2. Thank you sincerely for the concern and prayers. I am not in subconscious rebellion any more and am moving to conscious acceptance and trust mode, A smile and a hug coming your way for your words of wisdom and caring,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a cruel disease, yet millions suffer it and their loved ones with them. My mother included. I can’t help but take comfort in knowing whatever the brain loses in this life, the heart and soul do not, by God’s grace.

      Liked by 1 person

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