I'm forgetting things. It's mostly unimportant things, like the name of the woman at the Banh Mi sandwich place (Fay) or what the capital of Libera is (Monrovia). Still, it's happening more and more often. I know it's the result of 19 months (and counting) of sleep deprivation and the endless distractions that comes with being a father, and I blame getting older and becoming less concerned with the details. And I blame fear.
I am acutely aware of the presence of time. It's there when I'm lying in bed in the middle of the night, trying to quiet my brain back to sleep after resettling W. I see it in the boys, who seem to change daily, even from hour-to-hour (slow down please). I feel it most, though, when I go home each year. I see how much time has chipped away at my parents since my last visit, and how frail they have become; time is there, and so is fear.
Whenever I come home & see how much frailer my parents have become I don’t want to leave. In my 20s I didn’t care. Now they are everything.— Neil Lee (@neilio) August 16, 2014
My dad has Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. For him, forgetting will soon be all he knows, as time chips away at his mind and memories. My relationship with my father is a complicated one, but this is not complicated. The memories were there, once, and soon they will not.
I was talking with a friend recently about how I try to write every day, but I never show what I write to anyone. I don't want to break the habit, but lately I've felt a small but insistent sense of dread when I sit down to write. But why?
Alison wrote about this recently using simple, clear language that I must have re-read three times, because she captures exactly what I was trying to figure out: that the act of remembering and recreating the past may have changed for me, too. I used to take great solace in dumping the events in my head out into words, but lately I've felt off, uncomfortable. I couldn't figure out why something I used to love doing was starting to make me feel bad.
So, forgetfulness. Time. Fear. Writing. I don't know where I'm going with this. I don't have a nice, neat way to tie up what I'm writing here, because what's in my head isn't nice and neat. But this is a start, at least. Knowing that almost no one reads this site any more makes it easier, a little. Working through the fear of sadness, however, is a work in progress.
Sep 25, 2014