Don’t Forget

I’m losing my memory.

Or maybe there’s just too much information and I’ve run out of storage space. Why haven’t scientists created RAM for the brain? It could be that I have more brain folds now where data has been creased into. Brain sag. I need a brain bra to lift and separate the information, a quick shot of synapse collagen to firm up the connections.

It’s this memory problem that motivated me to start this blog. I write a list every day in a pink notebook: my “to do” list, annotated with yellow sticky notes for items that need a couple of days to complete. I’ve done this ever since I had my daughter. But, in the last few years, I realized I couldn’t remember doing any of the checked off items. My list didn’t capture the funny, crazy, sad, dramatic stuff that happened to me all those days of marking off the agenda. Or the people, especially the women in my life who make me laugh, cry, fist pound the air in camaraderie.

So, I took a creative writing class. It was great. I learned to write dialogue and to use words like a camera, recording what I saw and heard in story form. And it helped. I remembered more after I wrote about it. Especially the savory details, like the unexpected crush of cold salt water waves, a teal pashmina that brushed softly against my arm in a crowded bizarre or the sweaty tears of a giggle gone off the rails.

Then, my mother died. Writing took on a new urgency. I didn’t want to forget anything about my mom and I wouldn’t have any new events to record. I needed backup storage for my memories. So, I decided to write about all the things she taught me and all things I would normally go to her to ask about. My mom was the go to in the neighborhood. She listened and everyone always felt better after to talking to her no matter what the subject: health, fashion, school, work. Later she might send you a link, or a coupon, or a book for you to continue your own research, to empower you toward your goals. Everyone loved her. I don’t want anyone to forget her. I want my daughter and granddaughter to know her. So let me get her story down.

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