I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour for these two books, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
Magic O’Clock ~ A fictional tale of dementia and hope
Except he doesn’t remember my face any more. His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family. Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life. Not at all. It’s just different.
Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience. He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.
He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.
Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.
As it states in the blurb, this short story may be fictional but the emotions are all too real and will resonate with lots of people, me included. Told from the view point of the youngest of three daughters whose beloved father suffers from dementia. She visits the care home every day at three o’clock. That’s when the magic happens. Regardless of what he’s doing and where his mind is, instinctively shortly before three, Archie makes his way to the lounge full of residents who are waiting for him to tell one of his stories. The marked change in Archie’s demeanour during this short time defies reason and gives his daughter hope.
The lost soul that inhabits his body and mind for most of the day is vanquished for now and the man in his place is my father of old.
Anyone who has lost a parent or close relative to the debilitating effects of dementia knows how much a glimmer of recognition would mean. The author has captured the heartache and emotions perfectly without being maudlin, rather spotlighting the positive aspects….how confident and charming Archie becomes when he’s delivering his entertaining stories and captivating his audience. They love listening to him and for that short time Archie is the man he used to be. These are the moments of hope.
His gaze catches mine and a flicker of recognition flashes across his face.
The three o’ clock reference gives hope that some things stay rooted in the mind, even if they can’t be expressed. An incredibly powerful, well written and touchingly realistic story.
Magic O’Clock – buy links: Amazon | Other eRetailers
Magical Memories ~ A fictional tale of loss, grief and moving on
Two don’t make it in time. I do. And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late.
Despite him having dementia. Despite them not visiting in over a month. But I won’t let anger win.
After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we? Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.
It’s what Dad would want. Expect. It’s what he deserves.
We have so much to be grateful for. So many fond and magical memories to share.
Magical Memories picks up the story began in Magic O’ Clock as Archie has been slowly succumbing to pneumonia. As his condition worsens, his daughter calls a cab, urging the driver to hurry to the hospital. Her two sisters live further away and she knows they probably won’t make it in time. Unusually, the siblings aren’t named, other than to call them middle sister and eldest sister. Youngest sister makes it to hospital in time and is able to talk to her father for the first time in ages, even if he is still a little confused.
Talking to me – as me, and not some stranger – for the first time in too many months.
She shares a happy memory, talking to Archie as he slips away and she feels the weight of the emotional fallout. The disagreements between the sisters begin almost at once over the funeral, the eldest sister wanting to take charge. Old grievances rise to the surface and it’s left to the kinder middle sister to keep the peace. They have to work through their problems and somehow find a common ground, give their father the send off he deserves and would have wanted.
Filled with poignancy, this story deals with grieving process, letting go and the associated emotions…family and friends sharing memories and stories, bringing their father and friend into focus again. They realise memories are magical.
Life has found its heartbeat again.