"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Mar 9, 2015

"Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox if I Die"

Tell me I’m wrong...there are only two kinds of people in this world: those of us who’ve lost our memories and the rest of us scared to death to do so.  Everyone knows there’s nothing you can do about it, and no savings plan will prevent it if it’s in the cards.
So while we keep our collective fingers crossed, I offer now a marvelous quote from Mark Twain, who (sic):
“Spent most of my life worrying about things that never happened.”
I see those raised hands. Therefore I choose not to ingest all I can about Alzheimer’s and Dementia even though I’m currently dealing with both from a distance.  My reason is simple:  I decide what goes into my system, be it food or facts.  Call me ignorant; idealistic; irresponsible; I’ll not disagree.  But I’ve learned by now what works for me and what doesn’t, and that’s what I must remember.
What has worrying gotten me but a lifetime's memories of wasted time and energy?  If we could pick and choose which memories to forget, many of us likely wouldn’t mind.  It seems that whenever I allow an external element to enter my head, it invariably manifests itself in my own experience, and the bad ones haven’t been fun at all.  So I try to be sympathetic while blocking unnecessary details, particularly about another’s anatomy.  It can be done.
Besides the most important woman in my life being stricken until she hardly knows me, I recently learned a dear friend of 40 years is dealing with the same.  But she’s only my age!  When you hear it for yourself, and statistically speaking you’re bound to, your second thought will likely be about the state of your own mind, as expressed by another friend.  I supplied a quick retort:
“No, you don't have early-Alz; you’re just juggling so many things at the moment.  Plus I don’t know about you, but I’ve been forgetting shit my entire life!”
But what the hell do I know?  Understanding Mom a bit more now helps me with Inga.  Still, all I can offer is a voice of humor, joy and hopefully optimism; putting aside my own insignificant troubles enough to recognize and ease another’s suffering. 
And that's really all the rest of us can do.
* Title borrowed from a song by Joe Diffie, 1993

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