By Leeuna Foster
Mama is ninety-three years old. She often scolds me for being forgetful. "Lord-a-mercy, Young'un," she'll say, shaking her head at me. "I'll declare if you wouldn't forget your rear end and leave it in the chair if it wasn't already in your pants."
I don't get angry at her for scolding me. For one thing, at my age, it's nice to be called a "young'un" and in the second place she's right. I can't remember my own phone number some days.
Like the other day when I wrote a check at the store and the cashier asked to see my driver's license.
" ...or, just give me your driver's license number if know it. I need to write it on your check."
After I got up off the floor and stopped laughing, I handed her my driver's license. She must have been kidding. Right?
According to an article I read from The American Academy of Family Physicians.
"Beginning when you're in your 20s, you begin to lose brain cells a few at a time. Your body also starts to make less of the chemicals your brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory. Aging may affect memory by changing the way your brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information. "
Could this be sort of like when your computer's hard disk needs defragmenting? I think something happens to our memory files after we pass the forty year/five million mile marker, whichever comes first. I always say mine is neither age nor mileage. It's all those sudden stops that have worn me down. Too bad we can't just run scan disk, defrag, then reboot our brains.
I miss my mind. I really do. I miss the old days when I could remember everything I needed to buy at the market without making a list. Now I even have to take a pencil with me and mark off each item as I place it in my shopping cart, otherwise I come home with ten jars of peanut butter.
I bumped into an old friend of mine the other day while at the grocery store. (thank goodness she wasn't injured.) We were exclaiming over how long it had been since we had seen one another. All the while I kept thinking 'Who in heaven's name IS this person?'
I should have remembered her, but for the life of me I could not remember her name. We chatted for a few minutes and promised to keep in touch. I thought this would be the perfect way to get her name, so I said, "oh, you'll need to give me your phone number." She smiled and waved it away as she rounded the pork 'n' bean aisle. "I'm in the phone book. "
Some people are good with dates. I'm not. The only date I can remember is the one my sister set me up with. Boy was he a...oops, wrong kind of date. Now where was I? Oh yes...
My birth year is about the only date I can remember. Sometimes I have to count backward to figure out my age.
And don't you hate it when someone asks, "What was the name of that song, movie, book, person..." or whatever they are trying to remember? This makes me crazy. If they had not asked me, I probably would've remembered it. But since they put me on the spot, my brain keeps getting a 404 page-not-found error. Then I spend the entire night in sleepless anguish, trying to remember it. And then it comes to me all of a sudden when I'm least expecting it, like in the middle of a church service or while I'm waiting in line at the bank. Then I get all these funny looks from strangers when I jump up and down and yell out the answer.
My doctor's office started a new service a few months ago. Now they call the day before and confirm the appointments for the following morning. I'm really glad of this for it helps me remember to not forget to show up. However, it may not be a service at all. Maybe I'm the only one they call?
Mega Memory, a new product on the market developed by a gentleman named Kevin Trudeau claims to teach techniques that stimulate neurotransmitters in your brain to instantly increase your memory and mental capacity. There are also a gazillion different pills and potions and oceans of lotions that claim to aid in memory enhancement.
I keep buying them...
I just can't remember where I put them!
Leeuna Foster has been writing for two decades. Her fiction and poetry have won several awards. She is also a regular contributer to StoryTime Tapestry and a syndicated columnists. Her latest book, Hangin' With the Rednecks is now available in print or in ebook form. Visit her website http://www.southernfriedwriters.com for details on how to purchase your copy...don't wait for the movie!