In Memory of Memory

By casvellon

How do you reminisce about someone else's memory?

I took her sweet sixteen from her when she was forty-five - her daughter asked what it was like and the old girl frowned and said she didn't remember. There were pieces - a taste of birthday cake here, a snapshot of that cute baby blue dress there - but the heart was gone. She remembered only colors and empty shapes.

A week before she turned fifty I lost her car keys for her in the pocket of her favorite red pea coat. She cried for six hours after her husband reminded her the car was in the shop, and she'd lost her favorite red pea coat on a trip to Niagara last March.

What good are they to me? Useless thoughts of faceless people I've never met, and never intend to find.

And yet...

She remembered her seventieth birthday today when her niece came to visit the nursing home. Touching the girl's rosy cheek with a shriveled, bony claw, she recalled a night long ago, when her great-grandmother took her by the hand and sang a song as they danced through a garden of pink lilies. She remembered some of the words, and the smell of fresh flowers... but I hungered so.

No, she muttered, not lilies, but lilacs. Purple lilacs. Or was it sunflowers?

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In Memory of Memory

Created: Feb 06, 2010

Tags: amnesia, short story, alzheimer's disease, memory, vignettes

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