My Memories   Leave a comment

Kelly Gunderson’s 87-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s disease and on some days, her mother can’t even recognize the daughter she raised. Despite the odds, Kelly’s mother manages to remember long enough on this day to have a conversation with her daughter.

I pride myself in remembering a lot from my childhood and, generally, a lot of my past with vivid, almost absolute, accuracy. It would be devastating if I suffered dementia such as Alzheimer’s (God, forbid). There’s irony in contemplating memory loss. The thought haunts and disarms me. Of course, my mental health would deteriorate and, eventually, I’d be incognizant of my condition.

The people I know… relationships… places I’ve been… home… sights, sounds and scents… the only treasures all should cherish… slowly unwinds… phasing in and out your mind… then, suddenly… gone.

Strangers. Foreign. Alien. Confusion. Alone.

“Oh, Mama, look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama! Wally’s dead, too. His appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it – don’t you remember? But, just for a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s really look at one another!….I can’t. I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back — up the hill — to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you…” – Emily’s monologue in Act 3 from Our Town

Such a final farewell is fitting for an afflicted mind that’s fleeting.

I’m done.


Posted September 1, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Personal

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