This was published in 101 Word Story:
My sister picked me up at the airport. We drove straight to the nursing home. A year had passed since I’d last seen our mom. I braced myself, my sister telling me she’d changed for the worst.
At ninety-four, her body was shrunken in her metal hospital bed. She thought my sister was her aunt. She looked at me curiously and asked who I was. I lied, saying I did volunteer work. “You seem like a nice person,” she said. She looked off into the distance.
I can’t describe the sadness. We’d always had trouble connecting. Now it would be impossible.