The Rival

The Rival is short flash fiction. People who know me, or have known me, know that I once owned a collection of themed art: kissing.

I wrote this during that time, and I hope you enjoy it. You can always comment by clicking on the title of this piece.


     The silence in the living room was broken by the sounds of wrapping paper sliding to the floor. Everyone sat up straighter. Immediately awake and terrified someone new was going to usurp their hard earned territory.

     Who was this intruder? How large was he, how expensive? Was he going to take up too much room, too much conversation? Buzzing nosily amongst themselves they craned their necks looking over or under each other trying to see this new intruder. Why was this happening? Weren’t they exceptional enough to stand alone without anyone invading their space?

     Their mingled conversations grew louder sounding like a drum roll in a symphony. The sounds splintered, bouncing off the walls intense and angry. Sobbing sounds intruded into the room, as they heard the corrugated carton ripping open providing them with new fears about their future.

     They held their breath, each offering prayers they wouldn’t be the one relegated to a less prestigious location.

     The bronzes leaned heavily into their pedestals. The oil paintings flattened themselves into the walls. The glass and porcelain daintily hid their eyes. The etchings felt gray and blah, sure they would be the ones removed. The lithographs looked at one another, wondering if there were too many of them. The commissioned ones looked haughty, sure they had a home for life.

     As they looked around fully aware how crammed all the walls in the house were, they feared for their lives.

     Wait, hold on, he’s coming out of the box. Who is it? The voices once again became shrill, then silent as they held their breath anticipating that first glimpse.

     The sobbing stopped. The voices quieted and in awe they reflected on the beauty of this new piece of art. Surely they all belonged together in this house of lovers. No one would have to leave their home. Settling down they wondered where this new elegant piece of art would be placed. Hopefully somewhere near them.

Adopt A Caregiver

I always talk about Adopt A Caregiver. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I wish that everyone would do it. At least try it.

It’s so simple, I am sure all of you know someone in your own community that is a caregiver. Doesn’t matter what kind of care-giving the person does. Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, anything.

All you have to do is email this person, tell them you are trying to understand what they are going through. Since you cannot stand in their shoes, perhaps you can get that person to talk to you, to vent, to help you ‘see’ what they see. Just listen, do not  judge just be there as a friend, an understanding friend.

Twenty years ago when I was a caregiver, I wrote something that I never put into my book, Behind The Mask. I though it was too harsh. It went something like this:

Where were you when I needed  you? When I was crying my eyes out alone and scared. You all called and asked how my husband was doing, no one asked me how I was doing.

I’d like to think all that has changed, that people are more tuned in, and are more aware of the needs of caregivers.

Now that my husband is diagnosed again, it starts all over again for me.

I’d like to think we are better prepared this time around.
The one thing I do remember, and know to be true. I will have to live in his reality, when the time comes.

Please go out and Adopt A Caregiver.  Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Reflections Of Me: Me and Alzheimer’s Disease

Hard to take in this diagnosis, even the second time around. The difference is I’m not looking for the next thing to happen.

Instead I focus on each day, making loving memories, savoring my love notes every morning and all the kisses I get every day. It’s getting to be too many to count. I love them.

We’ve made peace with Alzheimer’s Disease. We have made our decisions, and our wishes known to the family and hope it’s a long time in the future for any further actions.

Alzheimer’s Disease is something that makes me sad for Howard. He is smart enough to know when he is losing it.

Last time, twenty years ago, he said his mind was like a sieve, pieces just fell through the openings. Sometimes just a blank page.

Thank goodness we have a great support group, they are very protective of us. Thank you all.

How many of you know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease two times??? I wonder, as I think the percentage is higher than I thought.

Meditation and journal writing for me is a tremendous help, as are all my friends and family and writing buddies.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that keeps on giving, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

The Last Dance/Writing Practice

The Last Dance
Diana knew this would be an extraordinary night. She took a leisurely bath, filling the tub with scented oils. Vanilla and sweet almond oil mixed with lavender surrounded her with lazy luxury. It had been a long time since she felt so calm.
Lying back in the tub, she went over the plans for the coming evening. When she was finished bathing, she stepped out of the tub. Diana knew she was ready.
When she was dry, she powdered her body with a silken scent, then threw a short silk shirt over her naked body. She didn’t tie it, just let the robe flap around her as she walked across the soft carpet into the bedroom. There, on the bed, was her husband, her best friend and lover for forty wonderful years.
Diana climbed into the bed. Tenderly she touched Stuart’s face. His eyes blinked once, she nodded in response. Reaching up, she kissed his eyelids, her hands moving down his still body. She rubbed her breasts along his stomach and reached downward and felt his erection. She looked into his eyes and once again, he blinked at her, this time very slowly.
One last dance, she thought as she put him inside her body. One last dance, bittersweet, loving and sensual. One last dance, she’d make it beautiful for both of them.
Later, when her heartbeat returned to normal, she looked again into Stuart’s eyes. He blinked. It was time.
Diana lifted the silken pillow, gently placing it over her beloved’s face.
Please God, let it be quick.
She lay across his heart, holding the pillow tight. His agony was over. She let her tears fall across his chest.
The last dance was over.


I wrote that sometime during my husband’s first diagnosis. Significant, not sure. This will be one of many writing practices I will put on my blog. I hope you come back to read them sometimes.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.


I’m back after a long absence. What have I been doing? Well, after my new great granddaughter was born in November, we spent all our time over there, watching each minute new thing she did.

I also recalled that a cousin had sent us a genealogy chart of our family. I pulled it out and looked. My great granddaughter (supposedly) is the ninth generation in our family. Wow, that got me thinking.

I couldn’t knit anymore, since I had been in such a knitting frenzy for months, I developed Tendonitis in both hands. It served me right.

Could I start looking up the family tree? It’s a lot of work, looking on the computer at dozens of Census papers that are so small you can hardly read them. And then, are you sure you found the right person?

What the heck, I have the time, and obviously this is the right time in our family to do it. I knew all four of my grandparents, so that’s a help. I intend to write little stories to go with those memories.

How far back can I go? I wonder.

After all, we are all parts of our ancestors.

It’s always let go of the past, forgive and forget. Not this time, this time I want to remember all those good times with grandparents, parents, cousins, and I want to see how far back I can go and what made me the person I am.

I did a little short story about my father one day. This time was different, I put myself in his shoes, and saw why he did what he did.He wasn’t selfish, he was scared,

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Ninth Generation

Wow, I just realized that this new great grand daughter will be the ninth generation. One of my cousins once did a beginning family tree, and he sent me a copy. I looked it over and realized that if I wanted to I could go back nine generations. To me, that’s amazing. I’ve never done anything to do with family trees, but maybe someday I will. What a great background to leave for future generations.

Maybe it should go along with my memoirs. Stories and pictures of my grand parents. I knew all four of them.

There are so many things I want to write, and then I get lazy and don’t do any of it.

One thing I am doing, is getting back to exercising. I need it badly. My Fibromyalgia is bad.  My muscles are so tight. Starting again is pretty hard. I did about seven minutes today and it was hard and I was hurting. I know it will get better as I keep going, and I need to do that.

Don’t we all need some exercise? Knitting isn’t enough. I’m smiling.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

My Get Up And Go Has Gone

Tired, tough day, no. Just feeling blah. Everything is a struggle. Fibromyalgia is alive and well, and it is making me feel awful. I am hurting. Everywhere.

Tomorrow is another day. I’m looking forward to waking up and feeling great.

I’m going for a much needed haircut, and out to dinner with my daughter.

At least I’m knitting. Otherwise I’d probably be even more miserable.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver.

Your Past Is Not Your Future

We are all shaped by our past. Our parents, schools, friends, all played a part in who we are. We all have our burdens, our bullies, things we didn’t know how to cope with. How you choose to remember is up to you.

But, you do have choices and the person you are today is by your choice. Don’t waste it. Life is precious. Time is what we all have in common. How we use that time is up to us. Only you can make your life the best it can be.

November is National Caregivers Month. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene


Support Caregivers

November is National Caregivers Month. Support your community. Find a caregiver and offer to email or call them. Offer to arrange a lunch for them. Offer your shoulder to cry on, to help carry the load of the world that’s on their shoulders. Encourage them to tell their story. Either in written form, or on line. There are many sites for caregivers to tell their stories.

It only takes a couple of minutes to form a friendship with an email. Particularly in your own neighborhood. Someone knows a caregiver.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

It Takes One Person, One Idea

Yes, one person can make a difference, one idea can change the world as we see it.

When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993, I thought my world came to an end. I wrote in a secret journal, I tried to smile. We had to keep it a secret and that was the hardest part.

When they changed the diagnosis in 2000, our world opened up and we smiled again. I showed my husband my journal and he said publish it. So I did last year. Behind The Mask was the catalyst for my idea for Adopt A Caregiver.

All it takes is an email to someone in your own community who is a caregiver. They would be so grateful for a friend, someone who listened, who let the vent, who didn’t judge. After all, you can’t judge if you haven’t stood in their shoes!

Behind The Mask is standing in one person’s shoes.

Adopt A Caregiver. It’s the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene