Sunday, May 13, 2018

A New Reality (short story) by Leanne Dyck

My mother--like many parents with a disabled child--had to come to terms with my disabled. While considering what it must have been like for her, I wrote this short story.

'a flower for mom' photo ldyck

A New Reality

Emily and I went back and forth--one time our house the next hers. This time it was our house. You kids were outside playing. I poured the coffee and we munched the cookies I'd baked earlier that morning.

"These are good." Emily finished her first and took another.

"It's a new recipe. Do you want it?"

"Sure, but mine won't be this good."

"We each have our talents."

"Did you ever find out what's wrong with Lauren?"

We were usually blunt with each other. We were more than friends, more like sisters. But somehow this time her words stung. "What's wrong with her?"

I guess she didn't catch my tone. "Yeah, ears, nose or--?"

"They think she may have a learning disability. They called it dys-lex-c-a." It was the first time I used that word; it was the first time I assigned that label to you.

"Oh, I'm so sorry."

"Sorry? Why she's not dead." My words were crisp. Embarrassed, I took a breath, forced a smile. "It's just a temporary setback. She'll get help; she'll get over it; she'll be fine."

Emily offered me a smile. "Of course, she will."

I didn't understand. Dyslexia--the whole thing was so new to me. New and different. I didn't want different. I never wanted to stick out. I was worried what other people would think, say. But you are special. You've always been. And special is good, exciting. A mother wants life to be easy for her child. Your life was never easy. But steel is forged by fire.

This short story is dedicated to my mom--and other women like her.

'Mayne Island beauty' photo ldyck

Next post:  19 years ago this month my husband and I moved to Mayne Island. Next Sunday, I share how I found the island, how we decided to move here and tips on moving to a rural island.

'petals under her feet' photo ldyck

Sharing my author journey...
Once upon a time, I had a daily ritual. I'd go on a long walk toting a pen and journal. Ending the walk by the ocean, I'd free write. Free writing helped my creative progress and was also a type of therapy. But I stopped free writing. I'm not sure when or why. Maybe I told myself that I wrote so much I didn't need one more writing activity. But now I realize that I do. Free writing differs from all the other writing I do--it's about me right now. What is in my mind leaks into my pen and out on the paper. And in this way, free writing centres me. In light of this realization, I vow to make a conscious effort to once again incorporate free writing into my life.