22 February 2009

Memories

I had a strange dream a few nights ago about losing my memory. I could see myself in my dream stumbling over my thoughts and my words as I tried to tell a story to someone. I was screaming at myself to remember, and I felt the anger and frustration even after I had woken.

A number of years ago I had met a friend's grandmother who was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She appeared "normal" enough when she first welcomed us into her house. After she had offered me something to eat a few times even as I had refused every time, I had thought that maybe she was just extremely hospitable, and the type of grandmother who just insisted that a person must eat if they are in her home.

My friend had left me and his grandmother in the living room alone while he went to the basement to talk to his grandmother. As we sat in the living room, his grandmother had started to tell me a story about something and she went into a large living room chest and produced a photo album. She pointed out several photos and then put the album back in the chest. She sat back down and then she started to tell the same story over again. She again went to the chest, retrieved the same photo album, pointed out several photos and again put the album back into the chest. She sat back down, and repeated the same cycle over and over again, and in between asked me several times if I had wanted something to eat. I started to feel sadness and fear in my heart, of what I was not sure, but mercifully, my friend came back upstairs from the basement with his grandfather, and the cycle with his grandmother finally came to an end.

She eventually had to be moved into a home for the elderly as the grandfather was not able to care for her any longer. One time, I accompanied my friend to visit her. Sadly, she no longer remembered her grandson anymore, but kept referring to him as her son (my friend's father).

That was my first experience with Alzheimer's and one that still affects me to this day. I was reminded of it again that night I dreamt of losing my own memory.

I talked to an old friend yesterday on the phone who told me about a coffee pot that I had given him a few years ago. I had forgotten all about it, and although the memory of a coffee pot is quite insignificant, I still felt the fear of losing my memory of even the little pieces in my life. I want to remember it all so that when I am older, I will know how I got to that point and destination in my life, wherever that may be.

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ~ Don Williams, Jr.

11 comments:

  1. you're remembering it all by writing it down. this blog, your writing, your words...they are immortalizing your life, your thoughts, your uniquely genuine perspective and life experiences. and your memories are helping people like me, lost people, sad people, old people, young people, everyone, to heal a part of them they never knew was broken.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Uh oh. I forgot what I was going to say.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sometimes, dreams are just dreams, and according to many esoteric schools, everything you've experienced and learned is still with you, the trick is learning how to access it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm...I thought losing the use of my hands would be a nightmare, but losing memories and knowing it, might be a better hell.

    Been playing with a new blog for my dance side since the whole saving and being frugal isn't working.
    http://drucilladance.blogspot.com/

    Aloha, Beebe

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello! I have an award for you here! http://cazzapoeia.blogspot.com/2009/02/best-mom-award-for-me.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. everyone loses memory "in little places" and thats normal. don't worry about not remembering the coffee pot.
    hopefully, by the time we get old, science will have found an answer to memory loss.
    in the meantime, enjoy every day and keep active.

    ReplyDelete
  7. that's a weird dream.. but it's better than dreaming of an old lady in white shouting right before your face!hehehe

    kidding aside, i personally think that it's ok to forget few things..especially when we sometimes get too occupied..

    but a moment with an old pal, friend, or anyone from the past would definitely let us remember all those good moments..if no one is around, you can do soul-searching, all by yourself..hehe

    ReplyDelete
  8. Last night I had a dream that I was visiting friends and it turned out to be a crack house. In my dream the police stormed the house including helicopters and attack dogs. I was trying to figure out how to get away when I suddenly woke up. Whew... Wierd one...

    My Grandmother developed alzheimer’s and was relegated to a retirement home. I will probably get it when I get older.

    Dirk

    ReplyDelete
  9. Losing memory is such a scary thing! My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's as well. One day he went missing in the Bay Area, and somehow he made it all the way to Reno, Nevada before we found him! He couldn't remember how he'd gotten there. I think that by the end, the only person he didn't forget was our grandmother. It's so sad and scary.

    But think of it this way, for years now, you've been logging such great memories. You've created great reminders. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I myself have one surviving grandmother and she is really getting old. 86 years old I think. But it is kind of sad to see them get older. But I'm sure you still have a long ways to go. I don't know much about Alzheimer's myself but live in the moment and make the best of your life today. :) And stop worrying about what the future may hold because it isn't here yet. Speaking of dreams, I have one where I'm trying to open my eyes to see clearly but as hard as I try, I can't open my eyes. That was a freaky dream.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Funny - I've always been one of those people who would prefer not to remember but the older I get, the more I remember despite myself. That to me seems way more altzheimerish than someone who actually wants to remember. :)

    ReplyDelete

Share your grind!