Tag Archives: memory

Notably Resounding

Aside from my physical addresses much has changed in my life since I first developed What Next. Other things remain the same.

This goes with some of my friends too. For instance, not only Christi at Feeding on Folly but also K. at The Blackwall Blog both recently blogged about their updates and changes.

Now they have me considering the inordinate amounts of stuff I’ve been hauling around for years. Things like my boxes of notebooks and journals.

With that I revisited my post from September 15, 2014. Again*:

Zoe couldn’t talk yesterday, but this morning we caught up. Unlike many of my friends and family these days, Zoe and I occupy the same time zone, so we don’t miss discussing much.

Fast forward 150 minutes; epic – even for us. We touched all bases; our work, families, mutual friends, political and social concerns. Then, for fun, we skimmed back over my notes from our past year’s conversations.

Yes, I keep notes, chronologically sequential, cross-referenced and color coded – on everything. This not only helps me keep my mind in the present reality and off the stories in my head, but has occasionally proven I heard someone right, long after the fact. I’m amazed at how much more important this becomes the longer I practice aging. Who knew aging well takes considerable practice?

Mostly my notebooks reveal I’m in better shape than I thought.

So… you may be thinking.

So, my thoughts today address perception and how my amazing, adult sons more frequently than ever suggest I’m either confused about statements from previous talks or I wasn’t listening to them. Always me.

How I imagine my boys and me chatting.

In all fairness, from my trusty notebooks, our typical conversations appear compressed into time restraints and are profoundly multi-directional. Still, though the subjects get jumbled a bit, I pen the statements accurately. Days or weeks may lapse between contacts, but when I need to be certain (even if only for my peace of mind), most often I am rectified.

As I am now cresting the peak of mid-life this is a kind of a big deal. More than ever before God draws my attention to details. Perhaps that’s because modern medicine has forced us to monitor ourselves and each other. The especially savvy peri-senior is watchful for symptoms of dementia, senility, disease and unnecessary stress.

Today God hath revealed unto me (okay, according to my notes), both Zoe and I are in good shape; at least between our ears!

Today.

“Blessed are those who keep [God’s] statutes and seek Him with all their heart – they do no wrong but follow His ways.”

Psalm 119: 2&3 (NIV)

 

*I’d already edited and liked today’s repost that includes friends, etc. Then I noticed “(3)” in the Permalink. I think everyone appears better in this version, so I tweaked the title and then ran with it. You be the judge.

Images courtesy Pixabay

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Tears in Heaven

I am astounded to discover that I either missed something – or I forgot – often.

Initially this worried me. As many times as I have read the Bible, I don’t remember catching the whole meaning of a verse I memorized early on in my walk with Jesus:

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
Rev 7:17 (NIV)

Emphasis on the remember part of my opening sentence. This got me wondering how many times I’ve parroted the words, “there are no tears in heaven.” I’m not gonna lie, the thought made me shiver a little.

Ahem. It stands to reason that, since “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there will be tears – in heaven.”*

So immediately following this profound revelation (or review, whatever) I initially felt a little frightened at the thought of having misled loved ones.

But wait, there’s more:

“…he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;
He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 25:8 (NIV)

Whew! My bad, but thanks to Jesus it’s not on me. Or on Eric Clapton either.

Initially I like the image of heaven without tears. But in heaven God heals each wound once and for all – finally and for evermore.

That’s not to say we won’t all account for our every word and deed. We will – good, not-so-good and bad. I don’t like to admit I have much to be ashamed of and to weep over. Even so, we get to ask forgiveness. What’s more, we don’t have to wait – we can be forgiven now. And then we get heaven! YEAH!!

With such a subjective memory as mine, today I must declare:

“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)

… And God will help me to never forget it!

 

*David Jeremiah, Turning Point, Tribulation Harvest, Part 2 teaching series available on Youtube.

Image courtesy Pixabay

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Total Recall

human-1138004__180You probably don’t experience moments when your brain seems to freeze up. I do. I can easily imagine what a car overheating would feel like; you’re suddenly stuck where you are, unable to move and it’s all you can do to understand what just happened. You’ll get around to wondering why.

I’ve moved around a lot lately. Having driver’s licenses from three states over seven months, that brain fade lately happens to me frequently. I experience the phenomenon especially when I encounter people I haven’t seen or thought of in years. Maybe it’s a normal homecoming thing. Maybe. It has nothing to do with aging.

This week a woman visited our Community Group adding a fresh touch to our 6 members. I noticed upon entering the house she looked familiar. I assumed I’d seen her in church. I’ve only attended for 5 weeks, so familiar-but-unplaceable faces are commonplace. Hand extended toward her I crossed the room, when she surprised me by standing, opening her arms to me. I welcome hugs among the brethren, so a hug from a newcomer was nice.

Before letting go she said, “Eva.” And then she repeated, “Eva!” I looked more closely and suddenly recognized the woman I’d worked with at the radio station some fifteen years before. Unlike me she hasn’t aged a day!

Nice.

With all the customary jumps, squeals, more hugs and oh-my-goodness-es, we derailed the meeting for a few moments covering the broad strokes. I doubt anyone realized I sat across the room from her so I could see her clearly without glasses (my mid-range). Through the study we bounced ideas off each other like we’d done brainstorming ad campaigns. And the memories kept on coming.

Please don’t ask me for any minute details about the lesson.

Later at home, before my prayers I marveled over how well she’s done;

  • She married,
  • just sold her home and bought a new one in town in one of the newer, upscale neighborhoods,
  • her boy grew up and did time in the Service,
  • she and her husband have a growing business and
  • she still writes advertisements, only at the local TV studio now,
  • she drove the late-model Cadillac SLT that was parked where Roomate typically parks,
  • she and her husband have been charter members of our church since its early beginnings (the one I diverted from ten years ago, going to Illinois instead).

The girl’s done well.

Strangely, sleep didn’t come easily that night. Instead of resting I paced around the apartment looking for little tasks. The rustic character of the place affords them in abundance.

For the first time since my arrival, I wasn’t entirely enchanted with my life.

Before too long (quick as I am these days) I realized I’d wandered onto the slippery slope of the comparison game. Certain my prayers didn’t get past the ceiling, I decided to burn the midnight oil. Before long at all my mind slipped back into how well my former workmate’s done and I began pacing the open spaces of the apartment trying to clear my mind – again.

As I drug my hand across the polished chrome of The Deuce, Cole’s custom Harley Davidson, feeling the smooth, cold metal against my fingertips, I imagined my far more traditional, conservative workmate’s face upon seeing my new digs – and the jokes about the pair of immaculate Harleys inside my home. For the first time I questioned if I actually liked them here.

img_1698

I normally enjoy the bikes wintering indoors with me. Both my brothers cherished not only the exceptional machinery and stunningly beautiful detailing, but the memories they made riding them all over the countryside, just as I enjoy their stories of the road.

But I realized I don’t hold title on either bike.

Looking around my rustic cottage apartment:

  • the stained concrete floors (artfully colored, of course),
  • mismatched area rugs, china and flatware,
  • boxes wrapped with contact paper for storage (and temporary makeshift occasional tables),
  • the shabby chic, barnwood tables (Chip and Joanna Gaines would drool over – jus’ sayin’),
  • my late brother’s recliner (that I won’t disown for love or money), etc.

A stranger would imagine that I’m impecunious. With my background of course I am. But I’m pleased with my accomplishments that brought me here:

  • I no longer own a motor vehicle or real estate today. I drive Cole’s vehicles.
  • I actually like hanging my wash to dry rather than run the meter using the clothes dryer,
  • I don’t mind the workout from foraging and chopping wood for heat – yet. (It’s been a mild, beautiful autumn).
  • Six years after near financial ruin, with a microscopic recordable income, my credit score is now average.

So, on paper my estate’s essentially worthless.

But any time I walk out my door, the pack of dogs are happy to greet me. Horses neigh from the pastures and the cows moo whenever they see me walking westward (always glad for any tasty offering). A couple of times a day, no matter what’s going on in the shop, Cole bursts through the door, “just counting noses,” often tossing out some task for me to reinforce I’m wanted – I know, awww… DearOldFriend is always nearby to lend an ear or a shoulder whenever I need one, chatting with my guys help fill the gap when I find time to miss my grand kids and I can text or talk with the rest of the family whenever.

“If you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.*” 

I spend most of my days doing what I love, so it rarely seems like work. I can walk the acreage without speaking to anyone or find a kindred soul to chat with any time I need to or work on my Spanglish. My age-old dream of a living on a self-sustaining property is gradually becoming a reality.

2013-cmas

 

 

Life could be better, but I’d need some serious time to imagine how. I’ll rest well tonight.

 

It’s good to be home.

 

 

 

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

*Ancient Chinese Philosophy (or Marc Anthony)

Opening image courtesy of Pixabay.

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Notably Sound

2016jun10Manny PCL MIL JCLI talked more than usual with my grown men over the past few weeks. Nathan was hospitalized several times for migrating shrapnel – 13 years after the initial event

The second time I heard one of my sons patient, adorable sighs, I remembered previous conversations, especially one with Zoe: 

Notably Sound – Repost from 9/15/2014

phone convo pixabayZoe couldn’t talk yesterday, but this morning we caught up. Unlike many of my friends and family these days, Zoe and I occupy the same time zone. That’s kind of a big deal.

Fast forward 150 minutes; epic – even for us. We touched all bases; our families, work, health, mutual friends, political and social concerns. Then, for fun, we skimmed back over my notes from our past year’s conversations.

notebook-pixabayYes, I take notes – on everything, in chronological order with color coded highlights. Maybe it’s a mental health thing, but it’s often helpful.

The happiest benefit of this old habit is seeing conversation details are accurately recorded.

So… you may be thinking.

So, my assessment today addresses how my amazing, adult sons imply (but wouldn’t dare say), “Mom, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I recognize the tone more frequently than ever before. Even when they were teens – and learned to never say that to me again. “That’s odd, Son. I thought you said you like liver. Silly me. I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Now they suggest I’m either confused about statements from previous talks or I really wasn’t listening – like that ever happens : } I confess I once found an old shopping list there – just once.

From my trusty notebooks, our typical conversations appear compressed into time restraints and are multi-directional. Though the subjects get jumbled among various subjects; jobs, rapidly growing kids, classes, fitness, etc., reviewing my notes serve me well. Though days or weeks may have lapsed, I am indelibly assured in my grasp of the conversations.

On this down slope of mid-life, this too is kind of a big deal. Modern medicine has forced us to minor in self-diagnosis so that especially the savvy peri-senior is watchful for symptoms of dementia, senility and a host of distresses and diseases.

I am happy to report that according to my notes, Zoe and I are in good shape; at least between our ears!

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)

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Filed under A Door Ajar

At The Movies With Alzheimer’s

Several titles stand out from the films I’ve seen from my Netflix queue lately. The top two, while not fun are intensely engaging. Both address Alzheimer’s Disease.

Seriously, I don’t recall intentionally selecting the two titles, I’ll Be Me and Still Alice. And yet like many Late Boomers memory loss is one of the first symptoms. I can’t say how many times a week I enter a room and wonder, “Now, what am I doing here?” Living with my 20-something niece who also does the same thing almost as frequently reassures me sufficiently today – misery still loves company.  Even so, these movies broadened my awareness.

Though I don’t agree with every idea suggested in both films, I definitely agree we must all invest to help understand and control the ravages of this disease. A particular common thread in both films left me feeling more hopeful for mankind; both victims remained within the embraces and care of their families, regardless of the hardships. Over the years I witnessed families place their infirmed in nursing and assisted living facilities, assigning their care and well being to trained professionals. While sometimes necessary, this can add to the victims’ confusion, anxiety and additional stress. Most families organize and arrange for constant visits with their loved ones. Occasionally some families can not.

Ill be me glen campbel

Image From The I’ll Be Me Alzheimer’s Fund

An early fan of Glen Campbell, I wept through much of I’ll Be Me and the stark images of the Glen Campbell Family’s experiences. Like no one else could adequately convey, each member of the family enhanced the film’s dimension. Viewers can easily grasp the full spectrum of emotions as the whole family supports Glen throughout his steady deterioration. However, Glen’s astounding ability to consistently find his way back to himself through music on and off stage continues to amaze me days later.

Many people identify with the Rhinestone Cowboy image, but I recall one of Glen’s slightly more obscure messages that still rings true today, Try a Little Kindness. Regardless of one’s preferred music genres, most can relate to and some love Glen Campbell’s touching lyrics and guitar mastery.

 

Still_Alice_-_Movie_Poster

 

What appears to be a tragically accurate illustration of another highly functioning family’s experience with Alzheimer’s, Still Alice is based on the 2007 bestselling novel by Lisa Genova.  Julianne Moore  and Alec Baldwin portray John and Alice Howland. Alice, a 50-year-old linguistics professor, becomes concerned about memory issues and is ultimately diagnosed as having familial Alzheimer’s disease. Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish play their children, Lydia, Anna and Tom.* While the married daughter, mother-to-be coped admirably, I especially appreciate the genuine relationship dynamics portrayed between Alice and their younger, unmarried daughter, Lydia.

The personal, social and financial devastation of Alzheimers is not a pleasant reality. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2015 “of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).”

 

My life is an example to many,
    because you have been my strength and protection.
 That is why I can never stop praising you;
    I declare your glory all day long.
 And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
    Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.” Psalm 71:7-9 (NLT)

 

*Source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_Alice The official movie poster for the film Still Alice, Copyright: Sony Classics, Source: WP:NFCC#4, https://twitter.com/alzassociation/status/526747191042273280 Use in article WP:NFCC#7, Still Alice, Purpose of use in article(WP:NFCC#8), to serve as the primary means of visual identification at the top of the article dedicated to the work in question. Not replaceable with free media., minimal use (WP:NFCC#3) will only be used at primary means of visual identification/, and used without commercial opportunities.

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Filed under A Door Ajar, Notes from the Apex