Posted June 26, 2023

From the author, “This book holds a special place in my heart because the situations described within are all derived from instances that we went through with my Granny, and the stories that she would tell us of her childhood when that was all that she could remember anymore. Of course, they are elaborated upon, as this is a fantasy book, but I hope it can provide empathetic insight into the mind of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and some smiles and comfort to those who have cared for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease”).

Real life:

“Jay! Jay! Have you seen my keys? I left them right here on the counter, near the sink. I need to get us some groceries before supper,” Reena, an elderly lady, called out from the kitchen of their beachfront condo as her forefinger tapped the kitchen counter in the very place that she knew that she had left her car keys earlier. She had put them there so that she most absolutely would not forget them, as she had been apt to do with many things lately. It was becoming frustrating how thoughts were increasingly escaping the grasp of her mind, changing into tendrils of mist that faded away before she could contain them.

“Have you checked the key hanger by the door, love?” The voice of an elderly gentleman responded as he walked into the living room from their study, watching her as she fumbled about in a flustered frenzy in the kitchen.

“Oh,” Reena responded, pausing before turning and making her way toward the door. “Here they are! Thank you, love. Sometimes I think they have a mind of their own and just, you know, walk off places.” She grabbed her keys triumphantly with a smile and…and now what? Oh yes, she would put them on the counter near the sink where she wouldn’t forget them next time. Reena placed the keys down in that very specific spot, making a mental note to find them there before heading over to her chair by the window in the living room to watch the seagulls dip and spin into the ocean waves below, catching their supper for the evening.

Jay watched her sit, and he looked as though he wanted to say something to her. “Well, spit it out, Jay, I haven’t all day,” Reena insisted as she propped her feet up onto the ottoman to get herself comfortable.

“Groceries?” was all he said.

Reena waved her hand about in a dismissive way while saying, “We’re fine, love. I’ll get them before supper. We have plenty of time.”

Jay looked out the window at the sun inching its way down towards the ocean. He shook his head slowly before making his way to his own chair next to Reena’s.

Reena closed her eyes. Why was he so insistent that she get groceries now? She wasn’t being stubborn. It was only morning, after all. They had just gotten up. As Reena thought that, she felt something nipping at the edges of her mind. It seemed important that she let that nipping notion in, but she couldn’t quite chase it down.

She sighed deeply, trying to bury the frustration and let herself relax with the marvelous view of the white sand beach outside of their window as she sunk into the softness of her chair. She smelled a faint hint of heather flowers coming from the vase on top of the glass coffee table in the center of the room. Stationary, metal dolphin shapes slicing through wavy waters held up the glass top. Reena let herself ride away on the waves of the heather’s scent.

A Dream of the Past:

A young girl, nearing 11 years of age, with dark brown hair in braided pigtails laughed in pure delight as she ran through the moor towards the cliff sides. Her arms were outstretched to catch the very air that she ran through. The plain brown dress that she wore was getting shabby with age and was dotted with tan patches in areas where the fabric had been thinning. It fell beneath her knees and was loose enough to allow her the freedom to run as much as her childish whims desired. The sea salt stung her eyes slightly, but that was something that she had become accustomed to in small quantities. She welcomed the feel of it in her fleeing dash. She saw her destination ahead. A scraggly tree desperately clawing its branches towards the sky in the center of a pile of purple flowers swaying in the breeze.

The sun was peeking out from behind one of the clouds in the sky, something it didn’t often do this time of year in the English countryside. The rain had held itself at bay for the morning, although the graying clouds blowing in from the ocean side promised at least a drizzle later in the day.

As she approached, she could smell the sweet scent of the heather intensifying on the gusts of wind mixed with the salty sea’s presence. She could taste it too if her breaths were large enough. This was Reena’s special place. She came here to escape the growing number of kids that were piling into her mother’s house and to get some solitude. Each time the planes came, her mother seemed to acquire another sibling for Reena. Only one of her siblings had Reena known for as long as she could remember. The others were what Mother called ‘foster care,’ and she said it was the right thing to do to take them in under their circumstances.


“Tree in a Heather Field” is now available for purchase on Amazon in both Kindle ebook and paperback versions. The author will generously donate 100% of the royalties from sales of this book through Amazon through July 5th, 2023 to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

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