21 June 2006

Unforgotten

"The memory of the heart outlasts that of the mind." ~ ♥N

She is seventy-six years old, and the world around her is shrinking. She cannot remember from moment to moment pieces of the conversation that she just had with you or how many times she has asked you if you wanted some iced tea. In fact, if you were to leave her apartment and come back the next day, she may not remember that she has already met you. These days, new faces, new happenings, or new encounters don’t stay with her for very long.

But ask her why, in all of her seventy-six years on this earth, did she not get married, and with much passion and bittersweet emotion, she will tell you the tale of a long ago affair that sadly ended when the love of her life tragically passed away forty-three years ago in 1963. She will tell the four decade old story of her beloved and the magical relationship they shared, and she will tell it as though it just happened yesterday.

“After he died in 1963, that was it for me. I could never love another after him.”

After you sit with her for some time, it is easy to see the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and the decline of her mental memory, but what is also apparent, is that her heart has refused to forget that one love of her life that neither time nor Alzheimer’s can erase.

… my thoughts on meeting an amazing woman with Alzheimer’s Disease ...
“Memory is the library of the mind." ~ Francis Fauvel-Gourand

"The heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good." ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez