A piece of my mind: not all that's lost is found

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Jun 01, 2018

In her great poem, "One Art," Elizabeth Bishop counsels, with devastating irony, that we learn "the art of losing." And I seem to be taking her advice, without even really meaning to: sometimes, I think I'm losing my very mind.

OK, not really losing my mind. But definitely losing most of the contents thereof. I forget names, where I was going, what I meant to do when I got there, what I wanted to say, and the words in which I was going to say it.

I lose my phone, tablet, keys (rarely, a panic-inducing event), wallet (same), books, papers of various kinds and degrees of importance. I haven't yet lost my car in a parking lot, though I'm sure that is not far in the future. I have "lost" my glasses while wearing them -- that is, I was looking for them and couldn't find them because there were already on my face.

I've lost sunglasses, sweaters, clocks, pencils, pens, serving dishes, jackets, padlocks, gym socks, snacks, notebooks, fish hooks, flashlights and gum packs.

More importantly, I've lost my way, my train of thought, my temper and a number of dear family and friends, human and furred. And if you think that sounds like carelessness {bless you, Oscar Wilde), wait till it happens to you.

My father, who had dementia at the end of his life, lost his short-term memory almost entirely, but retained, in detail, many of the baseball games he had listened to on radio in the 1940s, as well as many of the lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas.

My grandfather (my Mom's dad), lived to nearly 90 and had a very sharp memory, which he attributed to a medication he called "thyroid pills." I'm not sure what this pharmaceutical was, but he swore by it, and claimed it allowed him to "just reach in there (into his mind) and pull out whatever I want."

Between us, Maureen and I now have a more-or-less-complete working memory. What I can't recall, she remembers, and vice versa, at least most of the time. Although sometimes neither one of us can come up with it. Then it's, "What kind of thing was it? Can you give me a general idea of what the word means? Where did we meet her?" Sometimes this guessing game proves fruitful, sometimes not so much.

Just the other day, I was searching for my tablet. I thought I'd taken it with me to work, but when I got home, it wasn't in the back seat of my car, where it should have been. So I decided I'd left it at home and started scouring the house. I was going crazy trying to figure out what the heck I'd done with it, when Maureen slipped out of the house and came back a few minutes later with the tablet in her hand.

"Where was it?" I exclaimed.

"In your car. I checked the door pocket in your back seat, and there it was. I wouldn't have looked there, except that the same thing has happened to me."

Is that a generous sweetie, or what? She not only found my tablet, but saved my face as well. That's something I know I won't forget!

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 01, 2018 16:11

Sarah, it is called old age and believe me when I say I think of you as young and me as old, so where does that lead us?  That maybe we all age and we all are forgetful and we, I am sure, grateful for the now!

Mary (Brown) "Mickey" McKeever +:)



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