Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Last Porch
By Tracey Delaplain
It wasn’t just a locked porch that separated her from the big house. It was her locked memories. “I can sing a show tune,” she muttered to her attendant. Never alone. Yet, always alone.
“Well Hello Dolly, It’s so nice to be to be, hmhmhm.” Today was a good day. She remembered when she had lived in the big house. They said that singing would bring back the memories she’d misplaced, so she had sung, “Somewhere over the the the hmhmhm”, the words eluding her.
Had she been the only resident humming the words? Perhaps, but why was the punishment so harsh? She’d been banished to the little house where they no longer helped her sing.
For more Friday Fictioneers 100 word flash fiction visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog here
Friday Fictioneers challenges writers to create fiction with a beginning, middle and an end using only 100 words. My inspiration came from watching my dear Mother and my Mother-in-law decline until their memories were locked and all but a few loved ones gave up on them.
Sing as if no one is listening. It’s good for your brain.
I read an interesting research study that documented an increase in cognitive function and brain activity in dementia patients who sang show tunes for therapy. (Presented at The Society of Neuroscience meeting, San Diego, 2013)
Why show tunes? I think it is because we all recognize a few popular show tunes and can recite at least a few lines. I’m sure when you read my flash fiction that you recognized the tunes and could finish the verses. Popular, catchy songs are stored in our long term memory and long term memory is initially protected in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It makes sense that singing would be a low frustration activity but it also stimulates cognition. We should never give up on dementia patients because group activities and sing alongs improve mood, social interaction and happiness.