Saturday, 4 October 2014

I Can't Remember

Memory is a funny thing. It works for some things and not for others; some stuff just sticks with you, whether by trauma or joy it is impactful enough to withstand the test of time. Other things pass from you, whether you want them to or not.

I can remember the day my Dad died, so clearly, my daughter sitting next to him holding his hand, Margaret, his long time partner standing next, his sons and grandson beside the bed, friends and loved ones at the door. I remember the second to last breath, the long pause, and that last breath that took us by surprise. I remember this; it was powerful.

On the other hand I don't remember all that clearly the births of my four children; they conflate themselves in my mind, one mixing with the other until I am uncertain which was which. I fail to remember the names of many of the people I used to know when I live in Abbotsford although a few will never leave me. I remember very little of my childhood before age 8.

Then there are the current things, the daily things I forget to do. I go to the store with a list and forget to read it, thus forgetting something on the list. I can't remember appointments without tracking them in my calendar, regularly making appointments for days when homecare is in or when someone is coming over. As someone said to me recently, that is why you have Outlook.

There are the things I wish I could remember. I wish I could remember the last time I stood up on my own, without a lift or pushing up on my dresser or using the M-rail on my bed. I wish I could remember the last day I walked unaided, without holding onto a rail or a helper or a cane. I wish I could remember the last time I looked into my cupboards in a straight line, seeing all that was on the shelf in a single glance. I wish I could remember what it felt like to be vertical. I should have marked those days, except I did not know then what they were.

It's not that life like this is bad; it's just different. I knew it another way once, a way where I was tall and strong. I can remember that. I can remember standing at the helm of my boat, jumping out of my truck to shoot a moose, climbing a hillside in search of deer. I can remember walking the streets of Paris and London unassisted and steady. I can remember climbing Glastonbury Tor in England and hiking the Goat Mountain Trail in Manning Park.

Yet I cannot remember the last time I lifted myself up, stood tall, and walked out the door. It seems like a long time ago.

1 comment:

  1. This is so sad Rick. I remember when you were tall and strong . It is terrible that life has dealt you this bad hand.
    Still there is love and friends and things that make us happy. I love you dearly.