To locate a specific memory becomes difficult as I find my cerebral cortex becoming hazy.
Out of the millions upon millions of memories, my retrievals are becoming less and less.
Is my fear of my own mother’s loss of memory affecting me? Did my mother pass on that legacy that I don’t want to carry forward? Are my fears substantiated, or is it that I am focusing on what I can’t remember that I can’t forget?
My head hurts from worry that I have this slow progression. I write each day as if my life depended on it.
But let me pause and take a step back to remember what I don’t want to forget.
I want to remember that there are good people in this world. I want to remember that what really matters in this world is what we leave behind.
I hope I leave behind memories of kindness and love. I want my memory to be full of the good things I have done in my life and the good things that others have done for me.
I want to remember the feel of my dog’s fur when I held her tight as she breathed her last breath a year and a half ago. The feeling of the depth of loss that I felt at that moment.
That feeling that I thought I couldn’t breathe, yet I did. That feeling that I could never love another pet again, yet I did. That feeling that nothing could ever hurt this bad again, yet it would.
I want to remember how I felt when I heard the news for the first time that I was going to be a grandma, and then when I held her in my arms and looked down at her little face.
I want to remember when our eyes met and we knew each other. She looked into my eyes, and I would swear that there was a moment of recognition. She knew that I loved her, and I knew at that moment my life was never going to be the same.
Harmony, my granddaughter, represented a new hope. All of my dreams I want to pass on to her and give to her my passion for life and living.
I want to remember laughing so hard with my sister that our sides would ache as the tears rolled down our cheeks. I want to remember that no matter what I share with her, she will love me.
As the keeper of my secrets, no one has been closer to me than my sister.
I want to remember that when I am feeling alone in this world, I am never alone as long as I have my sister.
I want to remember the times of solitude when I could just sit alone with a friend and know that we didn’t have to speak to be comfortable. Friendships where we don’t have to say a word to know—to know that we just know.
I want to remember that the tears I cry wash away my pain and sadness and that the pages upon pages that I leave behind will matter to someone, someday.
But most importantly, I want to remember that I lived and that I loved; I cared, and I mattered.
Author: Tammy L. Coia
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith / Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Courtesy of the Author