Sheri Strobaugh’s unwanted symphony or unchained melody. One of those. Help me?

Sheri? Am I a fool without a mind or have I nearly been to blind to realize...oh?...really? ok. Fool without a mind it is.

Literati! Before I snuffed the candle at midnight, carrier pigeon sent me in Sheri’s entry. What really does go on beneath the surface of defective mirrors? We still have two or three entries to post before I announce five finalists. If you submitted an entry and don’t see it posted by 6:00 this evening, Moscow time, send the fairest of them all (that would be moi) an email.

Help me?

by Sheri Strobaugh

Withered, sullen and hollowed eyes reflected back in the mirror with what used to be the most undeniable sex appeal and a smile that could melt any guy who glanced my way.

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, whose the best writer of us all?
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, whose the best writer of us all?

I stare for an everlasting moment … there I am. It’s still me. I remember when I … wait, what was I doing? Oh well, it must not have been important.

Where’s my daughter? She just drove away and left me in this hell hole. I have lost everything. I feel like … oh wait a minute, is it lunch time? Maybe we will have fish n chips! I must get ready to dine with the others. What shall I wear? I can’t seem to dress myself, where was I going? Stinging tears flow through the the ebbs n tides of my once blushed and supple cheeks.

I rub them away as if they were digging in like cancers. Turning toward the sunshine through the window, why was I crying? Maybe I just sneezed.

Oh look, there’s my crystal cabinet! The crystals are making rainbows dance across my wall. I watched the show for a very long time or was it just a minute?   All of my favorite things … what’s missing?

I can’t put my finger on it. Why does my heart hurt? I love my kids, grandkids and crazy great kids. They call me Gigi. I am so blessed! I am so … wait a minute, where am I? My heart starts palpitating to a horrific unwanted symphony. It won’t stop! I look down at my weather beaten and very weary hands. They are shaking. But they are shaking to a jig. I hear it and it is wonderful!

Oh no, someone is coming down the hall. Is my door locked? Help me, what is happening? Oh okay, no one blasted through my door, I am okay … phew that was scary. I know they are listening, I hear it all thetime. No one believes me, but they are.   Is that my stomach growling?

I’m hungry, oh yay! Macadamia nuts!!!

 

 

 

13 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    “Help Me?” should be my theme of today, but instead it is glimpses into Sheri in front of a mirror and her boudoir of dancing lights and treasured past to present wondering where her diva past went and which of her family members are going to find her next. To me the words are and Sheri will always be the ultimate diva disguised as the center of her family’s heart. If I could flick my princess wand and magically be the blond hair, blue-eyed, little Swedish girl I should have been with the chance to choose my mother, I would choose Sheri without any doubts or reservations. Thus “Help Me” warms my heart as pure enchantment.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      On second read, not Sheri, but very feminine, sad nuiances of memories flighty as butterflies against the twilight sky. May be I fear losing my mind more than my life. Am I alone in that and the confusions of growing elderly? No? Don’t we wish to remember Leslie Caron as Gigi in her youthful, 27 playing 18 beauty rather than her present 84? Time and memories fade like dancing lights upon the final curtain of death we all will someday have to pass through. The more I read this story, the fear disappears and I love life more. Beautiful Sheri, just beautiful.

    • Sheri Strobaugh says:

      Hi P, thank you for your kind words. It was actually about my mother. She’s dealing with dementia and this is her world right now. XO

  2. Monica Brinkman

    Don’t know what the intention was but I felt this was a look at an elderly woman whose family had left her in a nursing home. Perhaps that is also the magic of this tale, you can take it many ways. I though it powerful and wonderful.

    • Sheri Strobaugh says:

      Thank you Monica and yes, she’s in assisted living right now. She lost Dad just 5 months ago and I fear she’s not going to get better. As long as she knows she has me and my family, we will try to make her life as happy as we can.

  3. kyle katz says:

    Nice job. I immediately knew it was dementia and have wondered many times what it must be like from the inside looking out, as my aunt had dementia. She thought I was my mother whom she adored. Reliving many moments I did not know. As she progressed it seemed like there was a lock on her brain. But I knew she was vividly alive until she floated away elsewhere when she took her last breathe.

    • Sheri Strobaugh says:

      It’s a sad and foggy way of life. My mom calls me Mother and Sister and assumes I was there in all of her childhood memories. It’s wonderful that she adored you to the end.

  4. Mac Eagan says:

    Thank you, Sheri, for a great story. I have said before that I am not a big fan of first-person narratives but this story can be told no other way.
    I have a friend whose father has Alzheimer’s and my mother is going through Parkinson’s related dementia. I can definitely relate.
    Great work.

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    Recognized this right away – personal experience – not mine, (well some days maybe like when my brain leaves the building and forgets to tell me) my Mom’s. Wonderful piece about the ‘what if’ perspective of one who is walking this path. They wonder all over the halls of time, and sometimes their faces reflect what they are thinking. You captured this beautifully. Good to read your stories again. Hugs.

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