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March 16, 2015


St. Patrick’s Day is almost here as I write this post.  The ice is melting from the lakes.  There is no snow on the ground.  The days have been warmer and everyone can believe that spring is really coming.  The snow days are a memory.

what does that mean to you “The snow days are a memory”? What is memory?  Looking at the snow picture can make me feel cool.  Looking at the snow picture I remember where it was taken and what was going on at that time.  Memory can bring us back to a time and place and event.  Memory can help us remember people and places that don’t exist any more.

Memory takes us backward in time.  I also want to say that memory can take us forward.  We try to recreate events.  I believe that is why we gather at certain seasons and times of the year.  Memory eggs us onto call someone, write or email someone or just put down things in a journal.  It can help us make sense of an event.  It can help us heal or if we focus too much it might hurt us.

Memory is something that is also now. I can remember a recipe and not have to look it up.  If the “thing” fails, I can go back to the recipe and realize I forgot something.  I don’t know if anyone else remembers the Commodore 64.  We got a Commodore 64SX in 1983 and just sold it in 2014.  It still worked.  We had the books and the games and all sorts of things.  One of my children hated it because the computer had no memory.  You had to put in the disk and remember the commands and the program would load and be there just as long as it was on.  Once it was turned off, it would be a blank memory when you turned it back on.

Without memory we don’t have context, place, or knowledge of who you are or who is with you.  Alzheimer is disease that erases memory.  I was told that it isn’t so much that you can’t remember where you put your keys as that you look at the keys and don’t know what they are for.  People with Alzheimers can benefit from scrapbooks and people that keep coming and telling the story over and over.  High fives for the people who are the caregivers of those with memory loss.  We all have to remember that we are a community.  We need to care for the people who need caring but we also need to care for the caregivers.  We have to remember that we may be in that situation one day – on either side.  What would be a blessing and caring that we would seek?  Ask someone who is a caregiver if you can come over and give them a break or just be there with them.  Ask what would help their life take a “deep breath” and mover toward wholeness.  For caregivers and patients life will never be the same.  Loosing memory seems like a curse.  Memory tools can also help make things move a little toward better.

Remember your past.  Remember today.  Make memories to bring to tomorrow.

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