Photo Copyright: Al Forbes

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction–December 4th, 2016. Each week the host, Al Forbes. provides a picture prompt. The challenge for each member of the group is to write an original story or poem with no more than 200 words, not counting the title and inspired by the prompt.

To read the other stories written by group members, just click on the link below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box.

The link to the other stories this week is as follows:


Genre: Human Interest Fiction

Word Count: 199 Words


Marilyn stepped out onto the porch to a wonderland of sparkling trees, lawns, and rooftops. Frost was everywhere. It looked like a Christmas card.

She didn’t realize how long she’d been standing  there until numbness began setting in. Stepping back inside, she felt the warmth.

The furnace could heat her on the outside, but there was a kind of numbness it wouldn’t chase off, that of her dad’s death. It had been so sudden.

The hospital let him come home for the holidays. He lay down for a nap after lunch and never woke up. It was so unexpected, such a shock.

She told herself the numbness I feel now will soon leave to be replaced by pain. Her children were young and she had to hide the pain for their sake. She wanted every Christmas to be happy.

Her mother was another matter. She’d be living with them now and had Alzheimer’s. Marilyn had to take one day at a time.

There was still the Christmas shopping and wrapping and the tree to dig out from storage and trim. Her husband wasn’t one to celebrate holidays. It would all be up to her now. Somehow, gradually she’d have to get through it.




Written Act of Kindness Award




    • Thanks, Bernadette. I’m pleased you liked the story. It was very close to what happened to me. My dad died that way on July 4th in 1980. My mother did have Alzheimer’s although we didn’t know to call it that at the time. My children were ages four and two. I’d been going every day to see Dad at the hospital and was tired. I had to start making all the funeral arrangements the next morning including buying a cemetery lot, and calling in an obituary as my husband is Indian and didn’t know anything about funerals in the U.S. I developed bursitis shortly afterward. It’s a hard thing for anyone to go through. I feel sorry for your friend. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ali. It’s similar to what happened to me on July 4, 1980. My husband did what he could but knew nothing about funerals in the U.S. as he’s an Indian. He’d brought my dad home from the hospital and given him lunch. I was bringing my mom and the children to my parent’s place so I could take care of him. When I got there I discovered Dad had died in his sleep while taking a nap. I’m pleased you liked the story. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dawn. That was me on July 4, 1980. Our children were ages four and two. My husband knew nothing about American funerals since he’s Indian and my mother had Alzheimer’s. My brother was in California. I’m pleased you liked the story. —- Suzanne


    • Thanks, Iain. I’m pleased you liked the story. That was me on July 4, 1980. Our children were ages four and two. By Christmas, I was able to manage. Deaths are always hard but especially so when they’re sudden and unexpected. My mother had Alzheimer’s but was still able to understand what happened. She took it hard also. Some years later she’d forgotten he died and wondered why he didn’t visit her at the nursing home. Every time she’d ask we’d tell her he’d gone on a fishing trip. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds like an extremely difficult situation to be dealing with, trying to keep yourself together and your kids and your Mom etc. I suppose the numbness helps one do what they need, but eventually she is going to need some self-healing too. To be able to grieve. She needs help and can’t do everything she has to do alone. Maybe her husband/boyfriend could help her? Maybe she has siblings who can help with her Mom at times? Great write, very true to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds true-to-life as that was my situation on July 4th, 1980. It’s long behind me now. My husband did what he could. My brother was in California and had problems of his own. My mother lived with us until I finally had to put her in a good nursing home because of the Alzheimer’s. I’m pleased you liked the story. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you went through that Suzanne that sounds like it was a very difficult time for you. I’m happy you made it through. Yes, I really did like your story. Thanks for sharing about that time in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

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