What if you couldn’t remember?

“What’s a memory?” he asked.
“Something warm, my child. something warm.”
“What’s a memory?” he asked.
“Something from long ago, me lad. Something from long ago.”
“What’s a memory?” he asked.
“Something that makes you cry, my boy. Something that makes you cry.”
“What’s a memory?” he asked.
“Something that makes you laugh, my darlin’. Something that makes you laugh.”
“What’s a memory?” he asked.
“Something as precious as gold, young man. Something as precious as gold.”

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

I’m watching my grandfather go downhill quickly, and it is breaking my heart.

He’s forgetting things.

Conversations. People. Life.

My Pap, the one I am so close to. The one who used to make up stories with me, play wiffle ball in the back yard, tell me how to take care of my flowers, sing silly songs, build snowmen. The one who baked gazillions of Christmas cookies and grilled on his patio with silly aprons on. The one whose lap I would sit on for hours, even nap on, the smell of Old Spice soothing me to sleep.

As I’ve gotten older we would sit together and talk about those days. What it was like before his strokes and heart attacks.

Memories. There are so many of them. Every one with my grandfather in them is wonderful.

And he’s starting to forget.

So I hold onto them for him. And I remind him.

And I hold onto them for me, too.

Because those memories.

They are precious.

And my Pap?

He’s “Something as precious as gold, young man. Something as precious as gold.”

7 responses to “Memories”

  1. This reminds me of one of my favorite Story People:

    “The day he first told me he was starting to disappear I didn’t believe him & so he stopped & held his hand up to the sun & it was like thin paper in the light & finally I said you seem very calm for a man who is disappearing & he said it was a relief after all those years of trying to keep the pieces of his life in one place. Later on, I went to see him again & as I was leaving, he put a package in my hand. This is the last piece of my life, he said, take good care of it & then he smiled & was gone & the room filled with the sound of the wind & when I opened the package there was nothing there & I thought there must be some mistake or maybe I dropped it & I got down on my hands & knees & looked until the light began to fade & then slowly I felt the pieces of my life fall away gently & suddenly I understood what he meant & I lay there for a long time crying & laughing at the same time. ” B. Andreas

    I love you!


  2. It’s so hard to watch those we love fade. Your memories and the time you spend together will make it easier – not easy, but easier.

    Praying for your family…


  3. Thankful, with you, of the memories you have. 🙂


  4. And those memories? You’ll have them forever.

    So sorry to hear that things aren’t going well…praying for you.


  5. I was so close to my Grandpa. He slowly slipped away like this and I would see the recognition in his eyes for only fleeting moments. Then he would laugh at something only he understood and say random things like numbers and not recognize my children. It’s awful really, Angie. So I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have to go through it too.

    Peace, friend. As a commenter said recently on my blog, “life is just too big sometimes.” It’s true. TOO big. So yeah…peace.


  6. So sweet and so true!!
    Thank you!


  7. Thank you for helping me never forget how special Pappy is!


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