The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Living in the Past

Why is it that people with aged related Dementia can’t remember what they did 10 minutes ago and yet can remember what happened when they were a child.  I am 48 years old and have difficulty recalling many things from my childhood.  Of course the major events and those documented with photos and movies (most in 16mm) I can recall with ease.  There are some things I think I remember  but I am not sure if it is a true memory or I have seen a photo so many times or been told the story so many times that I actually can recall it.  Case in point – I was 3 years old when John Kennedy was assinated.  I remember (or do I) watching the funeral unfold on TV and watching John Jr. saluting the Casson as it went by.  Is it a real memory or I have I seen the photo so many times that I think I remember it?  I am not sure. 

Mom and dad can reminice about things that happened when they were young.  Some of the stories I have heard over and over again, usually in a short span of time, and some I hear for the first time on almost a daily basis.  And it’s not things that you would think that a person would retain.  Little things, not always monumental events in their lives.  I find it both fascinating and sad at the same time. 

Both of them sometimes cannot remember who I am.  I have been a variety of people – sometimes related and sometimes not.  But, I have heard many times about both their families when they were young.  I am not sure if the memories are real or not, but I would like to think that in all this madness of Alzheimers that a brain would not be as cruel to reproduce events in ones mind that did not really happen.  I don’t mean the delusional thoughts which I know occur, but rather the sweet sometimes melancoly thoughts that show up out of the blue. 

A brain is a truly complex organ.  It runs the rest of our bodies; without one we can’t survive.  I can only hope that each time they do remember something it brings a kind of peace to their hearts.  I know there will come a day when they will not voluntarily remember anything and I dread that day more than my own death, but I do hope that I will be able to face it and get through it.  So for now, we will live in the past, catching glimces of what life was like for them before their disease took over.


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