She forgets.

It use to be little things. The name of her neighbour’s husband. The iron in the wash room.

Then it was the kitchen. She left the fry pan on and caught the wall afire. She told no one and thought about her grandfather.

She was five when he forgot her name. Six, when he remembered it. She tells a story of that day. Of how he couldn’t be calmed. How he knew no one and no thing. Except her. “She’s the prettiest girl I ever seen,” he said. “She’s my Anna.”

She doesn’t tell how he forgot again. How she cried and grew sick and didn’t understand.

For sixty years she’s pled with God. “Not me. I can’t forget.”

But sometimes…she does.

She smiles at her family. Sits quiet and anxious and hopes, “Maybe they won’t notice. Maybe they won’t know”. That it takes her a little longer than it should. To say their name.

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  • Lynn
    Jun 21, 2006 at 17:21

    I know this is fiction–but it most come from a true place somewhere. It brings back a feeling for me, as I’ve watched someone go through this.

  • Maria
    Jun 21, 2006 at 17:51

  • Katherine
    Jun 21, 2006 at 18:11

    Beautifully written, makes me remember my grandma.

  • anne
    Jun 21, 2006 at 18:42

    So sad and frustrating. I can’t even imagine actually going through it.

  • kenju
    Jun 21, 2006 at 22:53

    Someone close to me is showing signs of it – and it scares the heck out of me.

  • Shesawriter
    Jun 21, 2006 at 23:44

    I have a grandmother going through the same thing. It’s really, really, hard.

  • amrapajalic
    Jun 22, 2006 at 1:06

    Beautiful and evocative piece. Something we all fear in the back of our minds.

  • allison
    Jun 22, 2006 at 5:21

    Watching it happen to someone is a nightmare, because there is nothing anyone can do to help.

  • InterstellarLass
    Jun 22, 2006 at 15:32

    My grandfather is going through this. It makes me so sad because he was the smartest man I knew.

  • CeCe
    Jun 22, 2006 at 17:06

    So sad…I didn’t even realize it was fiction. Well written piece.

  • The Real Me
    Jun 22, 2006 at 19:31

    You say so much with so few words.

    Reminds me of this:
    My Secret Musings

  • Amy K
    Jun 23, 2006 at 2:44

    Perfectly done, Buffy, in a perfect circle. I like the tightness of this short piece.

  • Gina
    Jun 23, 2006 at 3:38

    Lovely. Stong and sweet.

  • Steph
    Jun 23, 2006 at 5:13

    To lose my memory would be my worst nightmare.
    Nicely written.

  • David
    Jun 23, 2006 at 6:13

    OK, so I’m going to hell…after reading the part about the iron in the washroom, I burst out laughing.

    Remember that episode of Will and Grace when Jack and Grace go to a taping of Antiques on the Road and try to get a teapot appraised?

    Anyway, they tell this sob story of their “Grandma Meg” who lost both her legs to diabetes. And then, according to Jack, on Christmas Day, she tragically lost both her feet.

    The teapot they bring in, was the only thing that survived the fire that Grandma caused when she… mistakenly answered the iron. With her hook.

    And then of course, I scroll down…and well, dont I feel like an ass? I’ve never had any experience with alzheimer’s, so I couldnt even see the signs in your post.

    But after reading everyone’s comments and the story again…wow…I’m still amazed at the short fictional stories you tell, that leave such an emotional impact on your readers…good job!

  • Elizabeth
    Jun 23, 2006 at 6:27

    This is so touching and real, it doesn’t feel like fiction. Your piece echoes my own fears. My grandmother died from complications of Alzheimers.

    But even though she was in her own world for her last years on earth, she had certain golden moments that can’t be described. It was sad and hard, but I think harder on me than on her.

    Thank you for your poignant words.

  • lem-n-ada
    Jun 23, 2006 at 7:17

    My visits to my own grandmother are inconstant and few.

    Too often, I let stupid little excuses stop me from going to see her.

    Thank you for reminding me that it’s important to make that time.

  • jali
    Jun 23, 2006 at 12:35

    Really beautiful story.

    Looking forward to reading more.

  • Nikol
    Jun 23, 2006 at 22:48

    I like your site! I stopped by awhile ago, and then couldn’t find my way back! Thanks for leaving a comment so I could find you again! It’s always a pleasure reading another writer’s work. =)

  • dan flynn
    Jun 24, 2006 at 5:35


    This is an evocative piece that really captures the frailty of your character. I particularly like that play between her inner and outer world and that she clearly is vulnerable in both places. And all done with a bare 174 words. Man, you really know how to make the language earn it’s keep. V v impressive writing.

  • Peachy
    Jun 26, 2006 at 10:30

    I won’t be able to forget that story.

  • Stephanie
    Jun 26, 2006 at 14:24

    poor Anna……….so sad