Sunday, October 22, 2006


"ghosts appear and fade away"

When I was about seven or eight, I had laid in my bed, crying inconsolably before bedtime. My parents heard me sobbing - or perhaps I had called for them - and my dad came in my bedroom, and asked me what was wrong.

I told him that I was so sad that I couldn't remember so much, that I couldn't remember being a baby. It seemed so unfair, that I couldn't remember a lot of my life. My dad thought for a bit, and agreed that it was very sad, but that I could watch my younger brother, and remember his life as a baby...and in that way, reclaim part of my infancy.

I have trouble accepting that I had such a complex thought as a seven or eight year old, except that I remember the incident quite clearly. So it must have happened.

It's so frightening to know that memory, so important to us, and to who we are, is such a fleeting and fragile thing. A friend of mine had a seizure Friday night, and C-note was there and witnessed it. After the seizure, my friend didn't recognize C-note (and they had been roommates for four years), and she didn't know the name of her boyfriend (someone she's been dating for six years). Her memory gradually returned after 10-15 minutes, but those moments were very alarming.

And to see elderly people, people who we know are whip-smart, to see them struggle to remember, or to stay on task, is so heart-wrenching. You can see them trying to keep from slipping. But, try as they might, it's like trying to keep grains of sand in one's palm.

My nana talked to my dad a couple of weeks ago, and told him that she had gone to the mechanic, he drove her home before he looked at her car, then came and picked her up when he was finished. A couple of days later, my dad called her, and my nana repeated the same story. A bit unusual, but everyone repeats herself on occasion. Young and old. He then asked her what she was up to for the day, and she said that she was waiting for the mechanic to pick her up so that she could get her car.

He asked her to go to her window, and check to see if her car was in the driveway. It was.

I suppose that memory loss is inevitable, an exchange that some make for the gift of growing old. Our bodies are not invincible - our faculties decay.

I was distraught at the age of seven to not remember. To be 84 and not remember - the pain is unfathomable.

It's so hard to watch your grandparents go through that: I know, I've sadly been there a lot these last couple of years.

I hope your friend is okay.
This might be the best ever argument for living in the moment.

This might be the best ever argument for living in the moment.

Wait, did I just tell you that?
I had a similar thought the other day...I'm almost certain we're on the same page.
tc: she's doing well - the experience scared her, of course, but she didn't get a concussion when she fell, so that's good...

wombat: I agree. Have you seen Memento?

m: I am almost certain as well...
Oh, yes, I have it on DVD.

Very, very clever movie.
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