Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

Normal

November 7th 2017 in Microfiction

“Do you need anything, Mr. Linden?” the nurse asked softly. “No, I’m all right,” he responded. “I’m just letting it all sink in.” She sat down near to him, wanting to reassure him and give him space at the same time. “It’s very hard in the beginning,” she said gently, “when families first visit memory care. It’s exciting to see progress, but it can be difficult to process when there’s no real improvement. I just want to assure you that your sister is getting the very best of care and she really is thriving … in a new definition of normal.” Linden offered the nurse a smile and nodded. “Thank you. I know that’s true and I’m grateful.” He paused, looking down at his hands. “She has completely forgotten herself; she is an entirely different person – sweet and happy, innocent and trusting. Whenever I visit, it’s like she meets me for the first time; she hugs me and we talk like new friends (full of careful excitement and affection). I feel so guilty.” The nurse leaned very slightly forward. “You have nothing to feel guilty about,” she comforted. “None of this is your fault and you don’t have to have any answers.” “Oh, I know,” Linden said, raising his head to look at her, tears at the corner of his eyes. “It’s just that my sister has always been so bitter and hateful – truly an epic pain in the ass. I feel guilty for loving her now – loving her more than I ever have before … and I have Alzheimer’s to thank for it.” The nurse smiled, reaching over to pat his hand.


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