I have said to people grieving…many times…hold on to your memories they can’t be taken away. I’m always afraid it sounds trite. ((of a remark, opinion, or idea) overused and consequently of little import; lacking originality or freshness.). When it comes from my thought process, it is what I hold onto…it is what I want to believe. But, now, I’ve known so many folks who have/are dealing with loved ones with alzheimers or dementia that I fear the memories can be taken away. I hate to think of it and the torture relived because I’m sure the memories drawn up from childhood for these victims are not just the great memories they would like to remember; but, perhaps reliving the bad things too….in an endless cycle. I hate it the thought.
As my mind continues to heal from the stress and anxiety of the past, I seem to have many more flashbang memories of my childhood. The good thing about being of sound mind, I can either remember them with a smile or remember the bad things, deal with them and move on. I’m not caught in a cycle, so to speak.
This morning I walked into the kitchen and saw his drinking glass sitting beside the sink… as I have seen many times and I immediately flashed back into walking into the kitchen of our childhood home and seeing my mom and dad’s drinking glasses sitting beside the sink. In those days, we reused a daily water glass because dishes had to be washed by hand and now it is no consequence to me to drink from a glass and put it in the dishwasher – then get another one and another one. But he likes to have a glass on the counter for drinks of water. The one thing only he knows is that it is not uncommon to find several half filled glasses in the refrigerator where I have stashed them so I have some cold water available. Half empty/half full depending on your perspective. I wonder if this irritates him. He has made comments about my little collections of empty glasses in the fridge. But he moves on.
When I was a teenager, I used to put on my swimming suit, take my sheet and sunglasses and go to the backyard and bask in the sun for a couple of hours. I loved laying under the sun and feeling the warmth tan my skin. I believe it is an addiction..plus as my friend, Kim, always said. Tan fat looks a lot better than untan fat. It is one of the great flashbangs that I remember often…in fact, as I dabble in in meditation or just relaxation during a massage, this is where I go. I have perfected the memory and it doesn’t take long for me to totally relax and be able feel laying the sheet on the grass, I can see the large oak tree, the brick fireplace my dad made to burn garbage, the flower bed to my right and Lennie Rae’s house behind my head. It is my happy place…it is my happy memory…it is one of those memories that I am so afraid I will lose.
Until next time….
Every second that you spend worrying about losing memories is a second that you could be using to build even more and wonderful ones. Dementia, loss of control is a terrifying thing to thing about. I think we can only do what we can to keep our minds healthy and strong for as long as possible and then hope that if it happens it’s at end of life. I don’t even like thinking about it at all!