What do you forget?

February 17, 2019

I think my husband is getting Alzheimer’s, and he thinks I am the one who forgets everything. I can’t remember if I have written about this topic before. For the past year I have been making notes about my husband’s memory loss.

But on the overnight flight from Hawaii to Phoenix, I left the notebook on the plane. Now I have no evidence.

In my duress, my husband offered to contact American Airlines and fill out the lost property report. I think he had the incorrect flight number. There were four, for God’s sake. It was 663, not 662.

I can’t remember any numbers, but I am great at faces. In fact, at 4 a.m. over the Atlantic Ocean, to amuse myself, I described each of the passengers who waited in the bathroom queue. There was great material lost. When my husband doesn’t recall where an item is located, I roll my eyes. I am not proud of this fact. If my mother were alive she would say, “Keep making that face and it will freeze that way.”

My 97-year-old grandmother used to think I was her grandson. She never had a grandson. At age 97, you should be allowed to invent grandchildren. When I am 97, I won’t have to look for my husband’s keys because I won’t know why I need them.

The thing to do is to write everything down. I use the app on my phone and take notes constantly. I have 77 of them.

One note says, “Warak enab. Stiffed grape leaves” (I think it is supposed to be stuffed).

It must have been about that darling Lebanese restaurant where I wanted to know the exact name so I could order it the next time I go.

The important part is to remember to type the subject or category after the notes so that they make sense when you read them. Like Gnarly Head – wine. Little fires everywhere – novel.

One of the notes I kept is dated Nov. 15, 2017. “Ed is showing Betty his pocket knife.”

I remember this scene quite well, as Ed was just learning to adjust to assisted living. I thought if he met Betty, who was also recently widowed, they might find companionship.

Ed was explaining to her how he used his pocket knife to carve a bracelet for his bride Sonia during the war. My note says, “They are holding hands as Ed weeps. ‘I loved her for 70 years and then I lost her. You are a gracious person for listening.’” Then Betty said, “You are a fine young man.”

Last weekend when I attended a friend’s 70h birthday celebration, I kept forgetting where I left my champagne glass. As I went looking for it, I noticed I wasn’t alone. Some glasses on the floor behind chairs were full.

Others on tables were half full. No one knew whose glass was whose. I should have circulated the living room guzzling all the bubbly instead of worrying about memory loss.

I see no point in keeping track of my husband’s memory lapses either.

Time to begin a new journal. Stay tuned for new information in my next column about how local seniors and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are helping other seniors who need some assistance in our area.