Thursday, May 03, 2007

Aging

Dream: I have missed my grandson's birthday (again) and I am trying to write a blog to apologize, to explain that my (once razor-sharp) memory keeps failing me. I begin the post with "I have too many grandchildren." ...as if that were a valid excuse for not remembering the youngest's first birthday. No, I cannot say that. It sounds judgmental, as if I were rebuking my son for having four children. As the dream continues I keep revising the text, trying not to whine, trying to sound appropriately contrite. I feel guilty, helpless, hopeless in this. I start again.

The truth is I'm having difficulty coping with the fact that I cannot remember things any more. I am having more difficulty with my irritation with others who forget key details. I now have no grounds for complaint (as if I ever did) but now the clarity is painful.

I begin again. I talk about the aging process, things my mother used to say when she was growing forgetful... when she no longer could do things on the spur of the moment or would become agitated when asked to change her plans. It took her two hours to get dressed in the morning. She needed to know ahead of time what to wear. I am not that bad, I say to myself. But I know secretly that it takes me longer to organize my day now too. I start again. "I have too many grandchildren." No, I can't say that. Now why can't I say that? I cannot remember. So I leave it for now, and hit "save as draft."

I wake up exhausted, slowly becoming aware I've dreamed the whole thing. I pray quietly in the early morning dimness. When was his birthday? I'm afraid to look at the little book where I keep all the dates... how late am I?

Later in the day I finally look at the book. I look at March, April... his name is not there. I look at May... hope springing up.. maybe I am not late? His name is not there. My son's name is there. I knew that. I have only two sons. I can remember two. June... there he is, June 24th! I am not late. Ah... but when June comes will I forget again? I sigh. And give thanks for my forgiving sons, my forgiving sisters, my forgiving God.

3 comments:

HeyJules said...

Another heartfelt and beautiful post, CJ. You really snagged my heart with that last line...

Natty said...

This is beautiful, CJ.

My dreams never make enough sense to talk about upon waking. Even when I do remember anything, they fade oh-so fast, especially the harder I try to remember them. And rarely is it ever so easy to relate the contents of even my most vivid dreams to my waking life.

A Freudian analyst could have a hay-day with me and my crazy dreams! Though I find I'm more aware of them since moving to the 'vent...

srop said...

Remembering? Forgetting? Midlife? I've just started reading the book, Carved in Sand, by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin. I'm not sure the solution is there, but I know we have lots of company.

Peace and all good, Pat Farrell, OP