Monday, May 11, 2009

In Memory of Memory

Memory...those vignettes of things past that bring us joy, or perhaps even moment of pain. Memory...the place we go when the present is momentarily too painful and the past is serene. Memory...a way to bring those who have left us back into our lives even if only for a moment. Memory...crucial to negotiating day to day tasks without thought or concern.

But what of those who have lost this precious gift? Where once there were pictures and stories to be recalled, what is there now? Do the thoughts that created the pictures, the pictures that created the words, the words that created the stories, vaporize into thin air leaving a vacuous chasm instead?

I have seen first what those who suffer from complex memory issues go through. It is disheartening and sad not only to those who are afflicted memory disorders, but also for those who love them.

My husband suffers from a condition known as Transient Global Amnesia. It is a complex and complicated condition but supposedly benign. The amnesia is temporary, but he never regains the time and events that he loses during the attack. Time... it is as precious as memories.

It gives me pause, our situation, for while my husband's medical condition as frightening as it can be, is temporary and benign. I stop and think about those who are in the midst of the clouded effects of Alzheimer's disease...a progressive, degenerative, devastating illness that robs the mind, body and soul of who we are, leaving nothing but an empty shell in its destructive path.

I believe we are all guilty...guilty of taking for granted a blessed gift...the gift of memory. Do you ever consider what life would be without it? Stop a moment and do so...for then you shall never take for granted again the things you can remember.


Sue Nicholson said...

Long time, no see :-(

Life, eh! Getting in the way of blogging.

Your post came up on Google Reader and I read with interest about memory. As I get older it is my memories that I hold so dear, without them I would be lost.

A neighbours wife has Al/mers . . . she is 49 . . . how very sad.

I don't blog much now. This year has been one of the worst in several; something had to give. I do love my facebook though, the ease of use and loading photos, plus the "immediateness" of it all.

Until we touch base again . . . take care . . . Love Peace Joy & Happiness . . . Sue

Carmi said...

I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's. At the time, her decline was so prolonged that she was being studied because the docs had never had a patient who had lived with it for as long as she had (over 20 years from first onset of symptoms to death.)

It pained me immensely when I first realized she had no memory of me. I comforted myself by thinking that somewhere deep inside, she was comfortable in her world.

It's been almost 20 years since we lost her. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. Blessings to you and your husband.

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