OK, so I’ve forgotten some things in my day. Like someone’s name. Or why I walked into a room. Sometimes I’ve forgotten half a night … but that was self induced and I don’t think we really need to talk about that.
When I forget things, it bugs me. Even scares me a bit. So I can’t even imagine what my mom feels like. She has very little long-term memory. And her short-term memory isn’t so great, either.
My dad used to holler at her, not understanding that she couldn’t help it. I try to make things easier for her. I’ll write on her calendar when I’m going out of town on business, when I have an evening meeting, or what time she needs to take the dog out. We keep track of all her appointments.
But mostly, I’ll tease her. When she gets frustrated because she forgets, I ask her, “So, did you ever leave the pan on the stove and burn down the house?” She looks at me appalled, and says, “No!” So I say, “Well, then I’d say you’re doing pretty good.”
So I guess the lesson here is try not to sweat it. Have a sense of humor. I try to imagine what my poor mom must feel like … scared, frustrated. Empathy is a wonderful teacher.