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Fiction: Legal Theft Project– Caring for her Father (518 words)

She almost didn’t answer the call. Jean knew the number by now, even though she had never saved it into her phone. She looked down at the number and for a moment, just a moment, thought that she just didn’t want to know. She didn’t want that added stress in this moment. She could wait, and find out what was wrong later.  

But just as fast as the thought came into her mind, it vanished.  She swiped the green button and pulled it up to her ear. “What’s the news now?”  

“Not good, Miss Strune,” Her Dad’s nurse replied, calling from the phone in his hospital room. Jean was always impressed how she managed to sounds just cheery enough to be reassuring, but professional enough to not give bad news in an annoyingly perky way like some of their previous nurses had been. Jean liked this nurse an awful lot. Maybe that was the reason that she really had answered the phone. “We’re having some pretty serious memory problems today. I’m sure that Mr. Strune would absolutely love a visit from you today to help him fill in some of the blanks if you have any time.”  

“Right,” Jean said slowly, “Well, tell him that I love him and that I’ll try to be by this afternoon.  Remind him that he really hated the place that Mom was staying before—that might help placate him for a little while until I can show up and be a bit more helpful.”  

“Thanks a lot, Miss Strune.  Sorry that I could have better news for you this morning.”  

“That’s alright, Jasmine. I know it’s not your fault.  I’ll see you this afternoon.” Jean waited for the click that meant she’d hung up. She never hung up first just in case there was something else that the nurse needed to tell her before the conversation ended.  Luckily, there was no more today.  

Jean chuckled to herself darkly. Luckily all she had to deal with today was the continuing degrading of her father’s mental state, to the point where he was slowly forgetting the years of his life further and further back.  

Jean looked at the work laid about before her. She had such lofty plans for what she could get done with her free time today. She should have known better than to try to have an all work day. It was like her dad could sense when she had a lot to do and saved his most spectacular breakdowns for those days.  

Jean took a deep breath and tried to bring her temper back down. She could be mad that all this shit was happening to her dad, no one would blame her for that. But getting mad at him, especially for things that weren’t actually his fault—that wasn’t going to help anyone at all.  

She was going to take a deep breath, spend some time properly enjoying her breakfast and keeping her mind in check, and then she would head over to the nursing home and try to figure out which ways she could help her dad today.  

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Room 204–Mitchell, S (589 words)

Mabel stopped just outside his room, where she was sure she would be blocked from his view by the door. She took three deep breaths, making sure she was calm. She pulled to mind the images of who Silas used to be. The strong man she’d met fresh out of college, who stood tall and strong and used to carry their kids around on his shoulders. She held that imagine in her mind, determined to see only that when she finally stepped into the hospital room. She pulled the smile onto her face, and headed in.

“Hello Love,” She grinned, leaning over to kiss his gaunt cheek. “Stephanie sent you some flowers, aren’t they lovely?”

“Hello, Angel,” He countered, reaching out to take the bouquet from her. “They are quite lovely. But I think it just goes to show that our kids believe that whatever you like is what I like too.” He brought the flowers to his nose and took a small sniff. “Yellow Roses. Your favorite,” he teased, pulling one rose free of the others and handing it to his wife.

She took the rose with a smile, before setting to work. Every morning when she got to the hospital, she set to making his room right. It was another part of the coping mechanisms, her doctor had told her when she started to fear that she was developing OCD tendencies, control over Silas’s environment helped her deal with the fact that she had no control over his illness. The doctors told her it was okay to do as long as it didn’t get too out of control.

She threw open the curtains to let all the natural light into the room. She collected and threw out all the pieces of trash and food wrappers from Silas’s breakfast. She took the wilting flowers their eldest son had sent last week out of the vase on the desk, before putting Stephanie’s flowers into some clean water. She tucked in the blankets around his feet, and made sure that his water glass was full. After doing all of that, she sat down in the chair next to Silas’ bed, turned on the TV to the Food network, and pulled out the cross-stitching project she was working on that week.

Silas propped himself up a little, leaning over to kiss the top of her head as she stitched. “I love you, something awful, you know that, right?”

Mabel turned to look up at him, and for once she didn’t have to imagine what Silas once looked like. Looking in his eyes, it was like he was that man she first met who dared to go toe to toe with her on movie trivia and won. His love for her hadn’t gotten any smaller since that day.  No matter what.

She genuinely smiled, and it felt like it had been ages since she’d done that.  She put down her sewing and took his hands. “Yeah. Don’t worry. I know that.”

“C’mere,” he smiled, scooting to the side of the bed. She laughed, and climbed up next to him. He wrapped his arms around her, and that was when she could feel the biggest difference, exactly how much weight this disease had taken off him. But it still felt good to have his arms wrapped around her, as few and far between as those instances were nowadays. She closed her eyes and listened to him laugh at the TV, and tried very hard to believe they were going to get through this.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Stories

 

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