What’s worse? Being unable to forget or unable to remember?
A quick warning before you continue reading this… this post is going to be as cliche as it gets lol.
As young adults, how many times have we said out loud or heard others say, “man, blah blah blah… I wish I could forget that ever happened” or “yeah… let’s NOT reminisce on that”. Of course there are things that are worthy of tossing in the memory recycling bin, but it also seems like we take what we remember for granted a lot of times. It seems like young people are just trying to forget and old people are just trying to remember.
The only reason why I bring this up is because while I was out in HK (I’m back in Toronto right now, just landed tonight), I of course went to visit my grandma whose health isn’t all the best right now.
At 93 years of age, my grandma has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for the past several years now. I went to visit her in her apartment in Lam Tin (a district in Hong Kong), a place she hardly ever leaves now because of her old age and bad memory, for an afternoon lunch with her and my aunt.
When I got to my grandma’s apartment, my aunt opened the door to let me in and then she called out to my grandma asking her, “Ah Ma (grandma in Cantonese) do you know who this is??”.
My grandma then stared at me dead in the eye for a couple of seconds, shook her head, and said, “I don’t know this person”. It didn’t really bother me that she didn’t remember me, but it was the fact that when she said “I don’t know this person”, she said it with a smile. As if she knew my aunt was implying that I’m family and she should have an idea of who I am, and as if people regularly ask her if she remembers who they are and since she can’t seem to remember, she smiles so as not to offend.
So after my aunt asked my grandma if she knew who I was, my grandma then began looking through a stack of old photos that she kept beside her at her seat on the couch, which kind of acted like a personal memory bank to her. A visual notebook if you will, of her husband, children, grandchildren and other family & friends.
It felt like this was something my grandma did on the regular, she would flick through her photos and then my aunt would stop her and point at the person in the photo and tell my grandma, “Ah Ma, this is blah blah blah. Look here in the photo”.
It’s tough. Life is tough man. Everything feels like a catch-22. Things that taste good are usually bad for your health, and things that taste bad usually got a wholeeee bunch of nutrients in them lol.
When we’re young it’s all about “GO”, on to the next thing, living the next moment. When we’re old it’s all about “STOP”, as if we’re trying to grab time by the collar and say “hold up, your moving too quick… I need some time to process, understand and remember everything”.
So what’s worse? Being unable to forget or being unable to remember? Either way it seems like we’re stuck with the bad memories lol. I guess all we can do right now as youngins is just try to soak the moment a bit more. Soak up and really force yourself to remember the imagery we see around us when we’re running around trying to hand in essays or rushing into the next business meeting with a client. Really try to remember more of the laughter and joy we experience when you’re out with your friends up to no good lol.
Sigh… I’m running on now aren’t I? lol. Sidenote, thats me in the black Eagles sweater and the lil broski in the grey Bruins sweater. Wearing sweaters in HK… what on earth were we thinking loll.