(Photo Credit: Akshata Ram)
It was exactly as she had laid out the bright red costume and the compact dolls forty-three years ago. The remorseless and unrelenting passage of time had neither been merciful on her constitution nor magnanimous with her fortunes.
This was Valerie’s way of expressing her overwhelming gratitude for the sacrifices her mother had willingly and silently made and the unconditional love she had showered upon her. Working three brutal shifts a day, she had invested every penny earned into Valerie’s future. Just when Valerie had created a niche for herself in a rambunctious world, the cold touch of Alzheimer’s gripped Mum.
Now as Valerie spread the costume and the dolls on the spotless bed in the assisted-care centre, she pressed the buzzer near the bed stand.
Two nurses wheeled her mother in. Valerie’s eyes welled as she saw the one individual whom she loved the most in her life, stare at her with vacant eyes. Slowly making her way towards her, kneeling down and with tears streaming down her eyes Valerie said, “Merry Christmas Mama.”
(WORD COUNT: 175)
This story has been written as part of the FLASH FICTION FOR ASPIRING WRITERS – FFfAW Challenge #196, more details about which may be found HERE
For reading similar entries submitted in response to the FFfAW Challenge #196 please click HERE
Thank You Akshata Ram for the photograph!