I have no other place to store a life time of memories than this 3 pound lump of water and fat in my skull. I have come to the sad realization that there are giant chunks of time in my life for which I have almost no memories. Pictures help. I know I was there. I’m sure I enjoyed it but, “Wait, let me think…nope…”nada.” I’m not talking about toddler times. I’m talking about what happened at my high school graduation, 51 out of 65 birthdays, the morning before my wedding day, years and years of sitting in classrooms, three decade of work days. For the most part, I’ve got precious little instantly available.
Loved ones planned and worked and sacrificed to make some of the aforementioned days very special for me. Thank you, but…I just don’t remember. When I watch the lengths to which loving parents go; all of the time and energy spent to make sure that every hour of every day is a rich and full learning experience for their child, I think to myself, “Just take ’em camping. That’s all I remember.”
A dear friend of mine was vacuuming her carpet on Christmas day when she got a headache and her life changed forever. An ultra fit and accomplished marketing executive, she now works on getting her brain to fully rewire itself after her massive stroke. On a recent visit I was happy to see just that. I wish she could enjoy her progress more. She is focusing her hope and daily disappointment on what she is still missing, the right side of her body. But I could not help expressing my joy at discovering what I have been missing, her mind. She is using all parts of it now; short term and long term memory, curiosity and questions, complex thought and speech. It’s wonderful to see her on her way back. My prayer is that she will also soon feel, “It’s wonderful to be back.”
I love my 3 pound lump, but I know that I can’t count on it to keep my memories safely stored for very long. So, I’m soaking things up for what they are right now.