Have you ever noticed how things come in clusters? As if the universe is afraid you won’t notice something if only one message is sent?
A few weeks ago a local woman passed away. She had dementia, which most of us didn’t even know. She was in the early stages, but then she quickly worsened and died before many even knew she was ill. It made me sad to think I wasn’t able to visit with her or say our farewells.
A few days ago my sister mailed me some old letters I had written. One included a story about my fire department days and a call on Christmas Eve. As I read the letter I realized I’d completely forgotten that story. I told my husband, who’d been on the call with me, although he wasn’t a hubby at the time, and he’d forgotten it, too. It made me wonder how many other stories are long gone.
And then today on the way home from errands I heard a radio program about dementia. The first thing the speaker said was, if you were diagnosed with dementia and knew you were going to lose your memories, what would you do?
My immediate thought was, I’d write them down. That I’d get out the paper and pen and write down every single memory I could think of.
That thought was followed by: why wait?
These kind of questions come up whenever you think about mortality. What would you do if you only had a week to live? A month? A year? When I was diagnosed with lymphoma I never once thought it was terminal. But my husband kept asking me what I wanted to do, and I finally realized he needed to have a plan. So I told him I wanted to go to Alaska. Which I do, but the answer was more to help him than because I thought time was limited. Which is probably why I still haven’t gone to Alaska.
But even with things like that, the question still stands. Why wait? Beyond the obvious answers of no time off from work, no finances, etc. All legitimate reasons for putting things off.
None of those reasons though, are excuses for not writing your memories down. Some day, we’re going to forget. Even if it’s just due to time, as in that firefighter story in the old letters.
And some day, someone will be very thankful that you made time while you still could.