You know, even those of us who are not so unlucky as to have Alzheimer’s, may have our own little problems with memory. And I’d like to say that my memory problems have become an issue with age, but that’s not true, either. I just have that unorganized kind of mind that makes a good memory very difficult.
There is a commercial on right now, cautioning about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in which a woman is trying to find her keys and her husband discovers that she has put them in the refrigerator. The caption then reads, “If you place things in unusual places it may be the symptom of early onset of Alzheimer’s.” If that is so, I have been in the early stages of that unfortunate disease since I was about 15! In fact, when I am looking for a misplaced item, the refrigerator and freezer are some of the first places on my list to look!
I admire people with perfect memories, I really do. It’s just that I can’t always remember why. In any given week, I can forget any number of things. My students love it when I forget to ask for homework that they may have forgotten to do, but my dentist and hairdresser are not nearly so fond of the fact that I forget those appointments.
This week, it was intended for me to bring some food to church for the coffee hour. I bought all kinds of cookies and breads to deliver, put them in the car so I would remember to take them to the church before I left town for the weekend, and then left town in the other vehicle. When I came home, it was entirely likely that I can no longer go to that church, but it is also true that I will remember the bread and cookies for a long time, because they ripened unfortunately in the warmth of my car over several days!
I do have tricks to try and help my flabby memory. I make notes and use sticky-note paper to put things up all over the house. Things like, “Be certain to put clothes in the dryer so you have underwear for tomorrow,” or “Turn the roast on in the oven or have raw meat for supper.”
I put kettles on to boil and then get busy elsewhere and don’t remember them until the smoke alarm jars my recollection. I like to watch old movies on television and I’m always delighted when I find one I haven’t seen before. Of course, halfway through I frequently find that oh, yeah, I have seen this one before, but luckily, I have no recollection of how it ends, so it’s all brand new again.
The good news is that my poor memory has remained in the same condition since, oh, I can’t remember when. I can always hope that it doesn’t get any worse, but as I move into old age, it may be that I start putting bigger things than the keys in the freezer…like the cat. Until then, I guess I’ll continue to enjoy life as it is, as long as I can remember why!
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