Within Reach

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.


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