MEMORIES THAT DIDN’T FADE
(Dedicated to my husband Herschel)
In your golden years, and even before
Something we don’t understand
Made you forget the date, your lunch, and events of the moment, and
Left you a shell of your former self.
Things that were real, were replaced with things that weren’t real,
or became warped with some truth and some fiction.
Things of long ago, like December 7, 1941, became more real to you than September 11, 2001.
And you asked, “What war in Iraq?”
Your job at the funeral home that ended in 1963, seemed to you as if it had just been yesterday.
You knew you should put on your clothes, but you always wanted to put on your wool sports jacket
and tie, no matter what the occasion.
And the fact that you needed warmer clothes in the Winter
and cooler clothes in the Summer got a little cloudy.
And after all, who knew whether it was Summer or Winter? And who knew how to tie a tie?
Boundaries became blurred when it came to your friendliness toward strangers,
and what had been a character asset, became a personal safety issue.
At first you wandered by driving in the car,
and then no doctor would sign so you could get your license renewed.
The man you once were who had managed loan companies for 30 years,
won awards, and did other people’s taxes, could no longer find his way through the maze of a simple form.
Your personality changed. Our Daughters said you had mellowed, and your Grands called you
“Their sweet little Grandpa”. Only occasionally could you concentrate on your beloved Georgia Bulldogs on TV long enough to
get through a quarter and know who they were playing.
And you had to hear “I just told you that”, much more often than you should have.
Still certain things stayed with you long after the others were forgotten. You remembered that:
You loved your wife and your “girls” and were so proud of them,
even after you could no longer recall their names.
You loved your “Grands”, and wanted to tell them “Nighty night”,
even when they were no longer young children and it was the middle of the day.
You remembered your parents and brothers, and the hymns that you sang together when you were growing up.
You loved your dog “Spot”, even after Spot died, and his name was really “Rowdy”.
But most of all, you never forgot that you loved your God.
Everyone should be so blessed as to know which memories to hold onto the longest.
By Theodora “Teddy” Schultz
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