Memories are something we all hold dear. Although, at times there are events in life we wish to forget. “Have you seen the young girl with two kids? I’m looking for her.” The old woman said. “Uh-No, I think I know who you mean, but she’s away right now. She just left a short while ago.” I replied.
My mind struggled to put the pieces together, then, it clicked. This was the woman that knocked on our bedroom windows last year.
It was around 7AM on a chilly January weekend. We were jolted out of bed by someone pounding on our bedroom window. This happened consistently for about 2 weeks straight. The knocks slowly drove us mildly insane. We’d run outside to see what was going on, but the person would always be gone. Other times, she’d be seen walking swiftly away by the road.
One day, this all stopped when our landlord could be heard asking her to leave. “No one lives in this building with two kids! You must be confusing the buildings or thinking of someone else!” I remember feeling relieved and we laughed about it later. “Ah, peace & quiet.” we said. “The crazy person is gone.”
Today, my perspective took a turn around. After a year, I met the woman that was knocking. After she asked for the young girl, she came over and talked to me. She seemed lonely but kind. My heart slowly broke as I realized she had Alzheimer’s. “You’re a beautiful girl.” she said. “Take care of yourself so you can live long.”
She went on to tell me a short story about her son. I was so moved by her. Here this woman is, with a large chunk of memory gone, and she still offered me wiser advice than most people could. Even after she left, part of her stayed with me for a short while. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. The words are with me even now, as I type them.
That’s the interesting thing about Alzheimer’s. Even though the disease takes a considerable part of the person away, their soul remains intact. That seems to shine through if you just talk to someone that has it. The next time you encounter someone with Alzheimer’s, give them an ear. You’ll soon see what I mean. I’ve known a few people with it and each one has made a lasting impression in my life.
Disease like Alzheimer’s leads us without it to think. What would we do if a loved one was diagnosed? Will that be us someday? The memories we hold are sacred. This rings true for most people anyway. What about those of us that are damaged inside, though? Would the same be true? Maybe, some of us wouldn’t mind. After all, sometimes in life there are pieces we’d rather forget.
Kansas – Dust in the Wind