Within Reach was published by Melange Books on February 24, 2014! (http://www.melange-books.com/authors/jillbisker/withinreach.html) It is the story of Emma, a woman coming to terms with her mother’s increasing dementia and the everyday challenges associated with it. Inexplicably, she finds herself ‘re-living’ specific events from her past. She soon wonders if her own sanity is slipping, and only her mother can help find the key.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Kindle Version available here
My heart jumped as my tires slipped on the wet pavement. The pouring rain swallowed the faint glimmer of my old Toyota’s headlights as I pumped my brakes and negotiated the bend in the road. Slow down, I told myself, but the gnawing unease in my stomach urged me to hurry. It was only a few more miles now. An extra five minutes would make no difference. One thing was certain; I would be no help to my mother if I had an accident.
I tried to push our last argument to the back of my mind. Remembering the anger and recriminations wouldn’t keep my mind on my driving. My mother had been furious when I said she needed to come live with us or find an assisted living arrangement. She wouldn’t accept her failing memory was a hazard to herself and others. Her personality had slowly changed as the disease progressed, until she was unable to be reasonable anymore. That scared me. Well, now the other choices were gone. Something had to change. I knew there would be another fight, but I had no choice. Tomorrow, I’d call my mother’s doctor to see what options existed for the swiftly deteriorating situation.
Her doctors kept assuring me Mom was able to live alone, but I knew she had just hidden the degree to which her confusion had advanced. She was a wonderful actress. It seemed I was the only one who saw behind the mask she showed the world. I’d sworn when I learned of my mother’s condition I would be there for her. She had been there for me. Little did I know how difficult that vow would become for all of us.
The rain started to come down in torrents, so I could hardly see the twisting road. I had driven this route so many times, but now I felt lost. The trees lining the sides of the road appeared, closing in on me, and the black pavement descended into an abyss around the next turn. My head pounded with the effort just to stay alert and not to panic.
At times, it seemed like Mom was a three-year-old trapped in an old woman’s body. I would look in her eyes and see emptiness where she once was. I hiccoughed a sob and tried to hold it together. I didn’t know how much more I could take. I was so tired.
I couldn’t believe it when I got my mother’s voice message saying she accidentally left her cat Rhubarb outside and she was going to look for it. What if she was hit by a car that didn’t see her in the rainy darkness? Please, please don’t let her get hurt, I prayed over and over to whoever might be listening as I drove through the dismal night.
Rhubarb died three years ago.