Weather Forecast


Forgetfulness doesn't just happen to grown-ups

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
opinion Perham,Minnesota 56573
Perham Focus
(218) 346-5901 customer support
Forgetfulness doesn't just happen to grown-ups
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

We can blame old age for a lot of our inability to remember whatever it is we're trying to think of at any given moment.

It turns out, according to something I just read, that the aging brain still has just as much knowledge as it ever did, but it loses the connections that enable it to find that knowledge.


Knowing why doesn't make it any more fun. It doesn't help me remember your name when I meet you. I hate that. Nor does it explain why I knew your name a minute ago, but do not know it now. I've gotten somewhat used to just "asking for forgiveness but I cannot remember your name - I think it's because I'm dying."

Of course, we're all dying, so there's some basis for truth here.

I'd like to blame old age for forgetting to zip up my pants after I pee. Really! How can you do something 500 times in a row, and then not do it? I want to zip. Too breezy in the wintertime, otherwise.

I had to get up early this morning to look up a word that refused to connect in my brain, although my brain tried all night long.

Yesterday, My True Love and I were talking about making a list for insurance purposes - a list which we may well lose the minute we turn our back on it, judging by what other lists do -and we came to the cabinet just inside the front door in which coats hang. It has large doors that close to conceal the mess of boots, tennis racquets, fishing poles, an umbrella and other oddities that do not have a firm home.

I finally came up with the word "wardrobe," but it wasn't the word I wanted. The word I wanted is "armoire." No, it's not pronounced "arm-a-ree." Not like the word "armory." It's pronounced, "arm-war." It's French; blame them. No matter. I can't remember English words either.

Now if there was only someone to blame for not remembering it in the first place. But there isn't. All there is to blame is the fact that I'm dying. There's going to be a big pile of blame between now and then, since I figure on living a long time. Yet.

Forgetfulness doesn't just happen to grown-ups, a fact I was somewhat reassured to observe in a granddaughter a while ago. She was about three years old, just at that age when talking becomes yakking and everything needs yakking about. Everything is important. Everything is a giant discovery.

We're at the supper table when I see this great look come over her face, a look that says: "I just thought of something really important and I need to tell you about it right away." That kind of look.

She turned to her mother (I just happened to be watching while this took place) and opened her mouth, ready to deliver this all-important observation in the fashion of which it deserved. She opened her mouth. Her mouth hung open. The look on her face moved from guess-what-I've-got-to-tell-you to I-don't-know-what-happened-to-what-I-was-going-to- say.

And just like that, I felt a lot better.

"What happened?" her mother asked her, having been told a hundred things about life since her daughter discovered telling.

"I don't know," said her wonderful child.

I didn't say it. One cannot look at a three-year-old and tell them that what happened is you're dying.

But one can look at a three-year-old and feel a lot better about it.