Hard Choices

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The scan showed an inoperable brain tumor. She had been there for him all these years, and now when he needed her most, he would be left alone and on his own.

We knew he had early Alzheimer’s when the doctor took his keys and handed them to mother, saying, “He can no longer drive his car.” He was not happy with that decision, as you can imagine!

My wife flew to Edmonton two weeks ago, to be with them as they searched for care facilities for both parents. Now, I am flying through the cold December air to join them. There is so much to think about and so many difficult decisions to make. It all seems very overwhelming.

Droning in my ears, the engines of the Air Canada plane have a calming hypnotic effect, and ‘in the tender gray, I swim undisturbed.’


Today at d’Verse, Lisa gave us our Prosery prompt. We are to write a prose piece of flash fiction or personal narrative incorporating one line from the poem, In Sullivan County by Celia Dropkin. It cannot be more than 144 words. I chose to write about an experience we had back in December 2012 when Ruth found out that both of her parents needed institutional care. The line is in dark print.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

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                               Christmas 2012




65 thoughts on “Hard Choices

  1. WOW Dwight, your poem is so heartwarming, yet heart-wrenching. It reaches the depth of our spirit. I remember similar decisions we had to make for my mother almost 23 years ago. You feel like you are going through an out-of-body experience as your decision-making process is questioned from all angles. Thanks for sharing my friend. 🥰💖🤗

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  2. A difficult time for all though its in the past now. The doctor taking the keys away from him — wow! I can’t help but think that could have been handled a little less dramatically, a little more compassionately, given that was a loss of autonomy that he should have been allowed to gracefully surrender, dignity intact. As always, Dwight, your narrative style with attention to details is engrossing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dora. The key change was at the doctor’s office. It may have been a little more graceful than the way I said it, But the reaction was not positive. I think that would be very hard to accept! I am glad you enjoyed my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a sad and heartbreaking story Dwight. I remember you sharing this before. I’m so sorry for your loss. It makes it so much harder because you loose them when they are still here. My aunt calls sometimes 5 times a day and she doesn’t know it’s me most of the time and thinks my uncle is having an affair when he died 4 years ago. Nice job on the prompt. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is brilliant Dwight and heartbreakingly honest! My wife’s aunt had advanced dementia and it was hard to witness what it did to her. It’s a cruel disease! 🙁 Thinking of you; your wife and her parents.

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  5. I can imagine how stressful it would be to make those decisions. This is a tender sharing of events and the details gave a vivid picture. I especially love the way you incorporated the line at the end. They grey feels like a safe place to escape for awhile. It also made me curious – is your wife’s family from Canada?

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  6. Dwight, a poignant, and all too familiar story. My sister and I took responsibility for my mother in the last few years of her life when she had Alzheimer’s. I am sure you and your wife feel as my sister and I do. We do not regret doing anything possible to help. All the best! ❤

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    • Thank you, Cheryl. It was ten years ago this week that I flew by myself to Edmonton to be with my wife and her parents. We do what we have to when things like this arise and make the choices we must make for the good of all. Thank you for sharing your story as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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