The little girl was shouting his name from the far bank of the river. She was waving something at him; her excited voice carried across the water. “Look, Grandad, I’ve got your book… the one you wrote…the one you read me the stories from!”
His world was unravelling. Memories came crashing back; real memories, not confusion… not the fog. Sunday stared across the river at Vicky, his grandaughter, who was no running and waving their shared copy of Inspector Sunday and the Cheng Mysteries, his first and only novel.
“We don’t live here any more, Dad,” The voice was soft and came from behind him. Emotions flooded his soul as he turned to see the redhead: his daughter, Jessica. Her hand was held out to him. She wore the yellow jacket with the marigold-patterned belt – the image of her that he always carried.
Sunday realised what he had done… saw the concern in Jessica’s eyes. “I… I went into the house…the old house.” he said. “I had to see it one more time…” He heard the age in his voice, the bravado gone. “I’m hungry,” he whispered.
Jessica said, softly, “It’s okay, Dad. The nice people who bought it said that someone had been in… They had been away for the weekend… but we explained that you may have kept a key…”
She was crying now, the redhead – his daughter. ‘They were only concerned that we found you.” She came a step closer.” He could hear the relief in her voice. He took her hand. She swept him into a hug. They held each other, uncertain but together.
“She knew… Vicky knew you’d be here.”
The tears were wet on his shoulder. “I can’t make it better, Dad, but we can surround you with love…”
Vicky had been running across the old wooden bridge. She arrived, breathless, and took his free hand, clutching the first two fingers, tightly. She looked up as he looked down.
“You can keep your cat, Grandad. Mummy says so…”
End of Inspector Sunday
Dementia affects many people and families. Within the shrinking prison of the condition, people are very much alive – and still as they were before they lost their ability to remember and handle complex things.
Nearly a million people have dementia in the UK. My mother is one of them. Kindness and consideration go a long way to making them feel they still have a place in life…
Other parts of this short story: