Star of the Silver Screen


Welcome to my contribution to Friday Fictioneers. Each week, about 100 writers from around the globe respond to a photo prompt with their 100-word stories. You are welcome to play along.

This week’s photo comes to us courtesy of Santoshwriter. It reminds me of a song from a well-known Disney movie, and in researching both the song and the movie, I began to think about the elderly people in our society who have so many experiences and so much wisdom to share. May we all learn to listen before it’s too late.

Copyright Santoshwriter

Copyright Santoshwriter

Star of the Silver Screen

“Drip, drip, drop, little April shower . . .” The familiar music fills my mind with memories. I try to smile. A stroke has left my face heavy, my speech slow, but in my mind, I can still see the room filled with easels, the two fawns, the hundred or so artists.

“Grandpa George helped draw Bambi.” My granddaughter has read my thoughts. The eyes of her three-year-old son grow bright. For a moment, I am admired.

I open my mouth. Only a whisper emerges. My age and infirmity frighten my great grandson the way that crashing thunder frightens Bambi.

***

Follow the link for more details about the making of Bambi.

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42 thoughts on “Star of the Silver Screen

  1. Dear Marie Gail,

    I think you’ve captured the prison of infirmity with a strong mind. the grandfather’s frustration is tangible. Beautifully rendered.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, Rochelle. This issue is something I think about often. I’m certain my grandmother was in a similar state before she passed away, and I know I had clients when I was a case manager that had much more to teach me than I would ever be able to hear simply because of their inability to communicate.

      Peace,
      Marie Gail

  2. I have nothing better to say than Rochelle, she said it beautifully, as did you.

  3. Sandra says:

    I could sense the frustration behind the narrator’s words. Well done Marie-Gail.

  4. I have seen that documentary about the making of Bambi…. fascinating, the drops of milk and such for the raindrops…
    Your story made me sad, to be honest, but a good story will do that.

    • storydivamg says:

      Ha, I have arrived as an author . . . making you sad was my goal today. I’ll have to come up with another goal for tomorrow. 😉

      I haven’t seen that documentary, just read the articles about the making of the movie while researching this story. Sounds like I should see the documentary soon.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  5. elmowrites says:

    Such a lovely and heartbreaking story. I can’t help but feel for Grandpa George and – as you say – all the stories he has to tell but never will. The article was fascinating too. Like Rochelle’s, your capacity and patience for research teaches me so much. Thank you!

  6. One day, we all turn into Grandpa George. The reality there is.

  7. Oh so sad.. I hope the great-grandson overcome his fears and listen…

  8. Marie Gail,
    that’s so sad, the conflict between the desires of the mind and the abilities of the body. That last metaphor is a great one.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, David! I’ve seen this struggle a thousand times, first in the eyes of clients and then in the eyes of aging family members. Sometimes I am outraged by those who cannot see it. Other times, I am thankful that I can see it. Always I am hopeful that I respond appropriately when I do.

      All my best,
      MG

  9. Very poignant,well-done. I have seen the misery of growing old first hand in my family, although in a different way. This captures it all perfectly.

  10. As they say, growing old isn’t for the weak. And so many old people are still strong in different ways. Body weak, mind strong. Mind weak, body strong. You captured that sentiment beautifully.

  11. I was trapped in his loving but immobile body with him. Very unsettling.
    Good job.
    Randy

  12. An awful thing to be trapped inside your body – but wonderfully written.

  13. draliman says:

    I really felt for Grandpa and felt his frustration at being trapped in his body, and scaring his great grandson. At least his mind still seems sharp and he has his memories.

    • storydivamg says:

      I’ve often wonder which would be worse: to live in a healthy body with no mind left or have a healthy mind in a useless body. Both options seem so wasteful.

      Thanks for weighing in.

      MG

  14. erinleary says:

    So sad but very real. I think it’s a universal fear of aging – to be ourselves still in our mind, but something else entirely to others.

  15. gahlearner says:

    It’s interesting to read about the making of Bambi, the old hand-drawn Disney movies have a unique charm, didn’t they… Your story hits home, it is sad and very real. My mother had a severe stroke that left her partly paralyzed, confused, and for much of the time a different person. Five years later she passed away, and it was at first difficult to remember her as the woman she was before the stroke. I wish I had written down all her stories, and that of my father and my grandmother. But young people often have very different interests… and then it is too late.

  16. Great descriptors, I could see this with my minds eye.

  17. rgayer55 says:

    I have often thought about all the knowledge and great stories we lose when one of our elders passes. And even worse, the horror of being trapped in a body that won’t cooperate when you’re trying to communicate. This touched my heart.

    P.S. – enjoyed the photo of you and David with “The Boss.” She’s a sweetheart, isn’t she?

  18. afairymind says:

    You did a wonderful job of capturing the frustration of being an agile mind trapped within a failing body. Well done. 🙂

  19. Ellespeth says:

    It’s as difficult to be old and frail as it is to be a toddler.
    Ellespeth

    • storydivamg says:

      True–but with the added aspect of glial cells that can hold memories of the helplessness. At least toddlers seldom remember those days.

      Thanks for reading.

      MG

  20. Margaret says:

    Oh the poor man. How tragic to be so young at heart, and not able to show your true self. What a poignant image of the little boy being frightened by Grandpa George.

  21. The later years are difficult for some people. You captured that in a loving way. My uncle was artistic. It was just a hobby with him, although he was really good. He had framed pictures on his wall of some of the Bambi scenes he had done with an artist’s soft pencil. The musical piece about the rain was truly beautiful. I enjoyed seeing the picture of you and David with Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne

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