My mom is losing her memories. While I was there last time I listened as she tried to remember the right word or even what she was saying. How precious are our memories. On my mother’s walls are pictures of the family. She has pictures of all of us kids, from the time we were babies to more recent times. She has pictures of her grand and great grandchildren. There are pictures of folks like Richard who joined our family in marriage only to pass shortly after doing so. There are pictures of my ancestors, like the great uncle who, I never met because he accidently shot himself climbing over fence (the shot gun went off).
There are pictures of my great grandparent and grandparents, of my grandpa as a young man. I only knew him as an old man, in the hospital with his ragged ear. He told me that his ear was bitten off by a lion when he was in the war and deployed ot Africa. I found out much later he had cancer and they removed his lower ear. But for years even after his death my grandpa was a hero for killing the lion that bit his ear.
Oh how precious is our memory?? When asked about a picture it takes her a minute but then she can tell you a story about that person. She even had her wedding album out. How happy she looked in those pictures but when asked, the old bitterness about my father comes out…the lost years given to a man who could not give back.
I am looking through my pictures and I wonder. I wonder if a picture is the memory or is it just a tool to help you. Will it help y mom? Will it help me? It scares me to think this is hereditary. That someday I will lose my memories that I hold near to my heart.
Will someone, perhaps my grandchildren, hold up one of the photos I share and ask me to tell them about it? Will I be able to? Will I tell a plausible story or will my memory be jogged and I can tell them about my memory.