Jun 21, 2013

Oatmeal and Memory

I want to write something profound, but I can’t find it on my keyboard. My fingers type, delete,
stumble and go silent. Random phrases storm in with promises they have companions that will multiply into insight, but they just mingle with my grocery list and leave me empty.

Part of my problem is I am in a rush to remember everything. I know it is impossible, but I have seen the horror of forgetting. My mother had Alzheimer’s. It is a robber that sneaks up on you to take your husband’s face and replace it with a stranger’s. Today never comes again because you fade into yesterday where you search everywhere for your babies who are grown women.

I don’t live in fear I will succumb to the disease, but I have my moments. If I find myself trying to put my oatmeal in the cabinet to cook it instead of the microwave, there are a few seconds of panic before I shake it off with the realization I was maneuvering the mine field of my two cats with my eyes on the floor.

Fear crops up when I look at photos of my mother to find I have the same exact expression, that pissed off, arms crossed, get the camera out of my face look a few album pages later. Well, of course I do. I spent so many years seeing my mother with it that it crept into mine without any effort. My mother was always difficult to deal with. Our family couldn’t pinpoint an attitude change that might have signaled a problem. She would argue with a stone just because it managed to be under her foot.  So I can’t assume that the occasional flight on my broom when crossed doesn’t mean in later years I am destined to mix cracker crumbs in my socks because of disease.

Afraid to forget, I won’t have that tattooed on my psyche to the point I don’t embrace each moment that I am granted.  When the sun breaks over the horizon onto a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry in the hamper, and bills I need to pay, I will say thank you, mix my attitude with some music and dance my way into the new day.

©Susie Clevenger 2013