Not Alone (Memories of the Heart)

Why hello little blog. Its been awhile.

I’m not even sure where to start this post. We will see if it even gets published. Or if I can make it through without being a puddle of tears. Its in my heart but can I get it down on paper.

Things were all good yesterday
And then the devil took your memory
And if you fell to your death today
I hope that heaven is your resting place

Memory is a interesting thing. We spend our lives trying to make the most memories we can. We work and work. We play and play. We travel and travel. We dance, we laugh, we cry, and we live. We do this all so that at the end of our lives we have something to speak of. We have the memory of days gone by. The heartaches and the joys. We hopefully have family and friends by our side. Thinking of all those things we did. We have them as simple thoughts stocked up in a place in our mind. We packed in so many things they are all just passing moments.

We also have the simple everyday memories of actions. Things we learned how to do at a young age. Like how to ride a bike. Or cook a meal. Or take a shower. How to do our hair. Or how to swim. Even how to buckle a seatbelt.

The crappy part of life though. Is that those memories can be taken from us. In what seems like an instant. We can go from cooking full meals for our large family to unable to even know how to eat within a year. We can not even know how to buckle our own seat belt. Maybe even not know how to simply bend over and pick something up. You may not know the names of your closest family. Or you may just mix them up. You may not be able to show emotion or join a conversation. You may get lost in a crowd.

The great part of life is this though. You aren’t alone in your memories. Every single one can be given back to you. Even if only for a simple instant. All by a simple helping hand. A granddaughter to cook you dinner. A son to lift things for you. A daughter to do your hair and keep you well dressed. A grandson to read you a favorite book. A friend to help you navigate a large crowd. A great granddaughter to make you laugh. A husband to love you in every missing thought and finish your thought. A family to keep you living the life you deserve.

No one deserves to lose their memories. I often wonder why. Why God would take the memories of a lifetime. The things that made that person who they are. Make someone unable to even live.

I have come to this conclusion. To remind us of the past. To keep us moving towards a future of more memories. To give us a last chance to be close to someone we love.

Its easy to take your life for granted. Its easy to just run in your own circle. To not look at the needs of another. To leave even a beloved mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or the like to their own life. Even when you spent 18+ years with them. The people who raised you. Who gave you LIFE. We tend to just get in a pattern. We think we are just done with that phase.

I tell you now. Drop what you are doing and involve them in your life. Invite them for dinner. Keep them involved. Create more memories. Because even if one day those memories are gone. You will have even more to remind them of. Or for someone to remind you of. You will also never feel like you missed out. You will have lived every minute of life possible with the one you love. Do them with heart though, not as a reaction.

Its also easier. When you know a person so completely you can know what they need. When their words leave them. When their ability to do the simple tasks leaves them. You can be the one to step in and help. You can get them the food they would want. You can know what they would want to hear about. You can answer a question without them even asking.

Not just with the older folks in your life. Do it with every single person you know. Know them on a level deeper than “Hello, how are you?”. Watch them. Know their needs, wants, and desires. Know your spouse. Know what they would want done and what you could do to help them if they were in the place of having lost their memory.

Its a proven fact that people who suffer with memory loss when reminded of the great life they lived, it can help them live more peacefully in the present. Even if they cant voice the memory you share they can feel it in their heart. So sing with them. Read to them. Laugh with them. Tell stories of grand adventures and great love. Remember the memories they can’t for them.

I can only hope someone in my life will do this for me. Its a pretty high chance I will be the person I described in this post. It runs strong in both sides of my family. Yes, it terrifies me to be honest. I want to always remember my family. I don’t want to lose the fun times or even the sad ones. All of them make me, me. So to not have them would be awful. To sit there trapped in your own thoughts unable to voice anything. I pray for people to be at my side giving me the hope of tomorrow by keeping my mind on the things I have done. To keep me, me. Until my time comes for my savior to take me home.

In that time I will have more memories. Not of the mind, but of the heart. Love so full and true you can do nothing but think of it.

I hereby promise to be that person for all in my life. To be the memories of your heart when your mind cant hold them anymore.

The best and most beautiful things in life can not be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.

Hellen Keller

*This post is dedicated to the inspirational and supportive rocks in my life. The women I aspire to be and my greatest encouragers. My Grandmas. Florence McKeever and Rosemary Klingberg. Along with all the other people affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia (and their families). Let us not create memories just of the mind but of the heart*

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4