Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Forgetting

Oh, how I love these 5-minute Friday prompts.  Kudos and deep thanks to Lisa-Jo for faithfully opening her blog to all of us who love to chime in.  It's five minutes of unedited writing - "just write without worrying about whether or not it's just right."  This week's topic is another doozy:  On Forgetting
I'm downright curious to see where I go with this one.


Forgetting is such a bittersweet word for me just now.  Sweet because it conjures up the wonderful truth that Grace forgets my sins as well as forgives them.  Sweet because I love thinking back over my life and noting the things that jump to the front for attention, remembering love and laughter.  Sweet because I enjoy creating unforgettable moments with those I love - celebrations, conversations, travel.  Sweet because memory can be such a boost for the spirits - when those memories are easily accessible and primarily positive.

But bitter because I'm watching, in a terribly up-close and personal way, how memory can desert you as you age.  How frightening it can be to not be able to bring forth a word, or a name, or an event, or a conversation - that just happened a few moments or days or weeks ago.  Two women whom I love deeply are experiencing this kind of forgetting.  One of them is aware of the loss; one is not.  And I've gotta say - I think I'd rather be in the second category.  It's tough to see yourself slipping ever-so-slowly away and feel pretty powerless to do anything about it.  

But then again, maybe that's why I'm here.  To help my mom remember.  To tell the stories, at least the more recent ones, enough times so that they move over into her long-term memory, the part that still seems to work amazingly well.

For my mother-in-law, there is also space for story-telling but it feels different somehow.  Because she doesn't know she's forgotten them, it doesn't trouble her as much.  It's hard to hold onto the truth of who these women truly are, but I'm doing my best not to forget.


           My mother-in-law Kathryn                                   and                         my mom, Ruth