Archive for November 8th, 2011

Dinner out with a sweet pair was a great way to spend an evening. We shared laugh after countless laugh. We shared stories of great celebration, and great sorrow. We listened to each others hopes for the future, and even each others fears. It was delightful.

They are a pair of old friends, whose friendship goes back to years when she taught piano to his children. Now they are eighty-eight and ninety years, and they enjoy the company of each other immensely. It is good that they have a history together, because she is getting forgetful … very forgetful.

There were times in our evening when I answered the same question of this lovely lady two or three times, within only a five minute period of time. Each time I worked hard to answer it for her, as though for the first time. It broke my heart as she not only was struggling with remembering, but also was aware that she was forgetful. That awareness seemed to intensify the angst of her struggle. She was confused by her confusion.

It amazed me how sharp was her memory of the distant past. The longer back in her history that our conversation went, the more she remembered, and the greater her confidence in the details of those memories, and in herself. So, we kept much of the evening conversation to that comfortable past.

I do not understand the intricacies of memory loss. I do not understand why memory loss seems to affect more recent events than those of the distant past. All I know is that the person in that body is still, somewhere deep inside, that same person. Although they might not know where they are, or who they are with, or who they are, they are still in there.

It must hurt terribly to be a loved one of someone who does not remember you, but I do believe it is more frightening still to be that forgetting person. The look of confusion and of being mentally lost is one that rips the heart in two.

Periodically, throughout our evening of laughter, this dear lady would look at me and say “I don’t think I know you, but there is something about you that is special.” I would assure her that is was that we are kindred spirits, who both hate boring people and love to laugh. I think though it is even more than that. I think that our shared love of God has knit us together, and memories are nothing compared with dreams of what is to come, when those dreams include an eternity with the one “who began the good work within you, (and) will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

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