(Trigger Warnings!!: A short nod to the historic tragedy that happened on this day. Discusses legacies, death, how people wish to be remembered after death. It also discusses aphasia, not being able to find words, etc. There is also a description of an experience I had that might be the way someone with Alzheimers disease feels. If any of that will bother you, please don’t read this.)
Good morning, my friends. I am feeling a bit subdued today. I know what today is. I don’t choose to discuss it in detail. I hope the media can strike a balance between honoring the fallen and rehashing every tragic moment. I support the honoring. I don’t think the consistent rehashing is good for us as a country. We need to stop picking at this sore so it can heal. However, this anniversary, and scary health news for several of my friends – one who is having surgery on a brain tumor as you read this – has left me wondering about our legacy. What do we leave behind us? Will people remember us as we would like them to? Will they quote our wisdom sayings or our silly sayings? How will they remember us? Or will they remember us at all? I am certainly leaving a bunch of words – stories, poetry, novels – and some family stories as well. I suppose the thing I would most like people to say about me was that I was kind to people. Life is too short to allow the knee-jerk reactions which are angry to define us, or control our behavior.
I have an acquired brain injury from the methotrexate poisoning I experienced from October 2013 through May 2014. Losing words halfway through a sentence drives me nuts. Every time I can’t remember something, or I remember a face and not a name (or the other way round), I stop and take a breath. My frustration is very real – and it does me no good. So I joke about “swiss cheese brain”, and all the holes that things fall out, and I never know where or when. The day after my hernia surgery, I had a rough time coming out of the anesthesia. I kept trying to get my sister to do something for me, except I knew what I wanted but I had no words for it. It was one of the most disturbing memories of my entire year. A situation many of my friends are struggling with is the onset of Alzheimer’s in a family member. I understand how upsetting it is to the family. I find myself wondering if the person is aware that they have something left to say and just can’t find the words.
I don’t write everything with an eye towards “what people will think of me if they read this.” On the other hand, I have to wonder some days if they will be looking at my best, or at my slush pile.” I also have a slight feeling of dread to think that my mind might not be able to communicate, even though there are stories left to tell.
Do you wonder about what you will be remembered for? If there is one thing for which you would like to be remembered, what is that? Answer anything. Speak to anything.
I have not started writing my submission for the month. I do have a page that starts with “She wakes up in outer space.” Why? “Because she belongs there.” Why? And so forth. Not complete by a long shot – I am thinking about it and poking at it in my mind. Come join the fun here.