Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Haunting Tale


Halloween is just around the corner, and Jenny's last Saturday Centus of October calls for the "scariest story ever." As per Ms. Matlock's instructions, I have added my hundred words to the prompt and created a tale that scares me silly. The prompt, in honor of All Hallow's Eve, is in orange.

∞§∞

A Haunting Tale
©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson

“Where’d ya get the cool pumpkin, Mom?”

“It is cool, isn’t it? And the way we got it is even cooler! But that’s Grandma’s story to tell. She all but stole this super-squash from the stingiest farmer alive. Go on, Mom.”

“That’s okay, dear. I’m listening.”

The tale was wild and wooly, with Grandma emerging as the main character in a dusky romp through the pumpkin patch that climaxed with a display of bartering so skillful the farmer was still shaking his head as they drove away.

Suddenly, Grandma spoke.

"This is the scariest story I've ever heard...”

“How come, Grandma?”

“Because I can’t remember it.”

∞§∞

As you can see, I was struck this morning by a news article about Maria Shriver, wife of the current governor of California, who is making an effort to raise consciousness about Alzheimer's disease in women: namely, the high ratio of women to men. Her findings were published this week in The Shriver Report, which discusses preventative measures women can take to avoid becoming one of the statistics. Apparently, 2/3 of those suffering from Alzheimer's are women, and doctors are increasingly aware that heart health is closely related. I like this report because it has an empowering element to it, providing concrete things women (and men, of course) can do to protect memory and cognition to the greatest extent possible, given whatever genetic and environmental risks may exist for them.

We all know or love someone with Alzheimer's or senile dementia. While we probably can't prevent it, there may well be things we can do to mitigate it. And that thought makes my Halloween tale a little less chilling.

29 comments:

Jess said...

Good story to raise awareness about such an insidious disease. My father in law was just diagnosed with it this year.

Karen Mortensen said...

Great post Sue. A great way to bring awareness.

Viki said...

I loved that your centus was to raise awareness of this despicable disease. Great job. I see so much of this at the nursing home when I visit Mom. I've bookmarked that site and will read it later. Thanks for sharing it.

Jingle said...

thoughtful post.
best wishes for those who suffered.

Donna said...

You are an amazing, amazing writer ...so skillfully do you weave a tale that truly captures...at least ME right from the gitgo! You have a purpose and intelligently tell your message well!! Love it!!

gautami tripathy said...

Sad but so endearing..

perception

Cherie said...

Great writing and lead in to a very serious subject. It is scary. While I do not know anyone with Alzheimers my grandma had dementia the last couple years of her life and couldn't remember alot. It was frustrating to her and heartbreaking.
My father-in-law has always said stay away from aluminum.
Anyways, it is a scary disease.

Jackie said...

Oh boy o boy . this scary story doesn't end does it ... lol . If my heart is linked to my brain than I must have alzheimers ! lol besides my grandma had heart disease and my mother had a stroke .

No I haven't gone to bed yet but I did take a shower :D . Thanks for the link and I didn't know that many suffered from alzheimers .

Judie said...

Sue, this is an excellent post. We have had several friends die of that horrible and humiliating disease in the last few years. One was a grammar and high school friend who was only 62. His brilliant career as an architect was cruelly cut short.

Stef said...

Good job. That was fun...and scary at the same time, yeah?

Ames said...

This was wonderful Sue. Such a scary disease. My neighbor was fine one day and the next the police brought her to our door and asked if we knew her. She couldn't remember where she lived. So sad.
I'd like to get my hands on the article. Thanks for sharing. ~Ames

Sue said...

Ames, you may have missed seeing it, but there's a link to the article in the second to last paragraph of this post.

=)

My name is PJ. said...

You stopped me cold with this one, Sue! That's talent!

It's a disease of epidemic proportion and we all need to focus on it with the same intensity with which we focus on breast cancer.

Kat said...

This was a really well written story Sue, and the end stopped me in my tracks. Such a horrible disease, and it seems to strike quickly and with little warning. Nicely done. Kat

cj Schlottman said...

Sue, thanks for this thoughtful and well written (as always) centus.

Great idea to use this prompt to raise awareness of Alzheimer's. We have some Alzheimer's patients in our hospice care, and their families are ravaged by it.

Jenners said...

What a wonderful awareness raising use of the prompt. Alzheimer's is a horrible cruel disease, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

Every time I forget why I went into another room, or when I misplace my car keys, or can't think of a word, I think I'm headed toward Alzheimer's - just like my mom.

Thanks for highlighting this awful disease that takes away independence and dignity.

Amy said...

What a sad story. I once read that aluminum is one of the causes of Alzheimer and since deodorant is full of aluminum, I have been searching for a deodorant without it. Honestly, I think it is terrifying so little is know about it.

karen said...

Thanks for linking to that article. I learned some things from it. I've always been afraid of this particular disease - not because I'm predisposed or anything - it just seems so tragic to be fairly healthy but to not be able to mentally function. Seems very cruel, but what disabling disease isn't? Thanks for raising awareness - I wasn't aware of the heart health link - so now it's especially important to take care of our hearts!

Tina said...

the end bit was so touching and a lovely way to relate this sad illness.

Tina from Mummy Diaries

Just ME the MOM said...

Great story :) I AM totally losing my mind and need all the hints, tips and advice I can gather!

Kristin

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Great story, Sue. I love that you use it to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer's. Both run in my family. I'm glad to know they are finding possible preventative measures we can take. It's always much more frightening when it seems as though there is nothing we can do about it.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

You have such wonderful ways of getting important points across, Sue.
Thank you.
xoRobyn

Cheryl said...

Terrific way to raise awareness. Sad story very well written.

Terra said...

you don't have to be old or have alzheimers to relate to this! My mom was telling me all about a things from days gone by that I remember nothing of...OMG...I loved this story!

Anna said...

In every way an excellent post. You have written a clever story and connected it to a reality that is far more scary than anything we can make up. And you provide a link for more information.

Alsheimers's is a terrible disease. It is sometimes called 'the next of kin's disease' (or something like that. I am translating what it is called in Swedish here) because it is the family around the patient that also suffer a great loss.
I know several people/or families that have this.

Thank you for sharing.

I am so glad to be able to visit again. My computer woes have kept me offline about a week.

Best wishes,
Anna
Anna's & Sara's SC-post Week 25

Tgoette said...

That was awesome, Sue! So simple and yet so powerful. Great Centus!

Teresa said...

Did you know that dogs get Alzheimers too? I had to put my 12 year old lab down last week. It is a terrifying disease, even for animals, when they don't know where they are, who they are with, or wander because they don't know what they want to do. In the end my pooch became incontinent as well because the brain controls everything.

Great work on the story and on drawing our awareness to this disease. I didn't know so many more women had it than men. At the nursing home where my husband worked as an accountant there were more men.

Jenny said...

Sue, wow. A TRICK and a TREAT all rolled into one powerful post.

Such a terrifying disease...I loved the way you made us aware without us even realizing you were teaching us with each carefully crafted word.

Thank you.

This was amazing.

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