During this holiday season, Author, Pat Garcia wants us all to reflect upon life and how preciously fleeting it is.  Hold tight to your loved ones, even when they can’t remember your name.


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Dee-Bay tied an extra ribbon on the plait lying on her forehead. Xavier liked her braids decorated with yellow bows. He said it reminded him of coming home.

Good days flew by quickly with Xavier. His unexpected illness infused his mind, immobilizing him, and robbed him of his consciousness.  Day after day, night after night, Dee-Bay watched him turn into a shallow, listless hull, dwindling away, to where he slept in a nebulous world only he had access to. A place where she couldn’t go.

Dee-Bay pondered over what the day would bring as she took in the chaos of her bedroom. Scattered clothing, blue, green, yellow, red, and purple ribbons lying on her pillows, and shoes stacked in shoeboxes she never wore except when she visited him.  Her room had become a reflection of the turmoil now embedded in their marriage, she thought, as she pulled her best white dress over her head.

Dressed, Dee-Bay headed downstairs to observe the still, silent shell that lay in the bed in their guest bedroom. She dreaded the visits and always hoped he would return for a few seconds, minutes, or hours, and laugh and remember who he once was.

She opened the bedroom door and peeped into his room.

“Dee-Bay,” Xavier said, laughing. His laughter filled the room.

 “Yes!” Dee-Bay exclaimed joyously. Xavier had called her Dee-Bay instead of Yep. She didn’t need to play the small theater role, where she would ask, who am I, and his eyebrows would furrow as he sucked in his cheeks, trying hard to remember who she was. When she saw the frustration on his face, she’d sing, 

“Dee-Dee-Bay, Bay, Bay.”

 And Xavier would sing in an off-key monotone, “Yep, Yep, Yep.”

 “Dee…Dee…Bay, Bay, Bay,” she’d repeat.

 And with his deep baritone way off-key, he’d sing, “Yep…Yep…Yep.”

 Dee-Bay walked to his bed, sat down, and Xavier grasped her hand. Recognition flowed between them.

 “Does life just disappear, my darling Dee-Bay?”

 “No. Life continues. That’s what I believe.”

 Xavier looked into her eyes. His gaze burned her soul. 

“How long have I been gone?”

 Dee-Bay took out her mobile. “Exactly twenty-nine days, eight hours, fifteen minutes, and thirty seconds. It’s so good to have you here with me,” she said.

 Xavier grinned. “But not for long. It’s time for you to get on with your life.”

 “Stop worrying about me,” Dee-Bay remonstrated.

 “Never. Light the candle!” Xavier ordered. “It’s Christmas.”

 Dee-Bay smiled. Xavier sounded just like his old self, giving her commands that he expected her to obey. “Whatever you say, sir.” She went to the closet, took the candle from the top shelf, placed it on the window ledge, and lit it.

 “What day of the week is it?” Xavier asked.

“Thursday. Why?” Dee-Bay questioned.

 “Just want to make sure it’s Christmas Day. I’m tired.”

 “I must hurry and make you a cup of tea and bring you a piece of the Black Forrest Cake you love to eat.”

 “Yep,” he said. “Ribbon, yellow ribbon. Give me one, Yep.”

Dee-Bay’s eyebrows rose, and her heart skipped a beat. Xavier’s voice had become blurry, his hands trembled, and his eyes turned glassy.

 “Who am I?” she asked quickly.


“Dee-Dee-Bay, Bay, Bay,” she sang, gazing at him, looking for some sign of recognition.

 “Yep, Yep, Yep,” Xavier sang in his slurred, monotonously off-key baritone.

 “Dee…Dee…Bay, Bay, Bay,” she sang.

 “Yep…Yep…Yep,” Xavier repeated.

 Dee-Bay left the room hurriedly to go to the kitchen to make tea and to let her tears fall.


Shocked to hear Xavier’s voice in the kitchen, she spun around in bewilderment. “What are you doing in the kitchen? How did you get up?”

“I know your name now. I’m alright. Thank you, my love. I’ve got to go.”

Dee-Bay rushed from the kitchen to his bedroom. There lay Xavier, lifeless in bed. His right hand held her yellow ribbon, and the candle burned softly, illuminating his peaceful face.

Happy holidays, everyone, and I wish you a prosperous 2022.

Shalom aleichem


    • Good Morning Robbie,
      Thank you. I know Christmas is a joyous occasion, but I wanted to write a story that reaches out to those who know what it mean to go through a Christmas seeing their loved ones fade away.
      Shalom aleichem


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