Wednesday, January 14, 2009

memory lapse

A few years back, Lindsay (our oldest daughter) made an interesting comment. She said something to the effect that she'd lived such an eventful life that she'd forgotten more of it than she remembered.

And she's only in her 20's!

It's true, though. The last 30 or so years of our lives have been action-packed and adventure-filled. I tried counting up how many homes we've lived in since Greg and I married, and came up with nearly 20 houses/apartments in our 31 years of marriage! That's a lot of packing tape and moving boxes!

We've lived in 5 states and have worked with 9 different churches. I've held down 10 part-time jobs over the years, not including my writing. I've been on at least 7 mission trips--and Greg's been on way more than that. We've been jobless, homeless and clueless about God's direction in our lives . . .

But, overall, we've had a blast. I just wish I could remember it all!

I started keeping a journal when we found out Jonah was autistic. There was not much written about autistm at that time, and nothing from a Christian perspective, so I hoped my scribblings might help other parents down the road. I kept journaling after Jonah died--it was my therapy--and continue to do so until this day. I've read through my journals a few times and am grateful for their scanty record of our lives.

But I know I've forgotten way more than I recorded. Someone contacted me on Facebook today, and to my great embarassment, I had no idea who she was. We even chatted for a bit tonight; she tried to fill in the gaps for me. But there was no spark of recognition. She remembered me, my kids (including Jonah), my husband, and even my sister who lived with us for a short while. But I have no recollection of her. None at all.

There's kind of a gap in my memory in the years right before and after our accident. I was the matron of honor in a friend's wedding the summer Jonah was killed--but my mind is a blank when it comes to the ceremony. I've looked at pictures, heard the stories, seen the video, etc. And even though I know it's me standing next to the bride, I can't remember the actual wedding. It's like my face was cut and pasted onto a stranger for all the connection I feel with that event!

And this is not an isolated incident. Sometimes my mind can dredge up foggy memories when I'm confronted with the past, but sometimes people, places and events just don't compute. I think I'm getting used to it. But I feel sorry for my Facebook friend who has such vivid memories of me.

At least on Facebook, she can't see my blank stare . . .