Remembering the Forgetful

Daddy has dementia. He forgets now. He does not remember special days anymore. He does not remember what day or year it is readily. He does not remember how some people are connected. He remembers me. Daddy never forgot things or people until lately. He always knew everything about everything. He remembered everything at exactly the right time. He knew important dates. He reminded me of these things. Now I remind him. Sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn’t. The majority of the time now, Daddy’s remembrances are of his family of 6 together in the farmhouse, working the land, milking the cows, fighting his (at the time of these remembrances) alcoholic father to keep him from hurting his mom because he was a mean drunk. He remembers God and his hope for heaven. He will go there one day. He has been dreaming about that with his vivid dreams. Daddy forgets much now. I help him remember. I help him remember to smile and laugh, something that thankfully comes easily to him now. I remind him of good times, moments with Uncle Buddy before he died young of leukemia, moments with Aunt Barb and Aunt MaryLynn, moments of singing at church, moments at the wheel of a tractor. I remind him to remember. I remember for us both. He feels useless now. I remind him of his power. He feels helpless. I remind him how much he always helped everyone. He feels dumb for forgetting. I remind him of his intelligence in working and fixing machines with no education for it. He remembers to love me. I remember to remind him that I love him and will always do so. I thank God for my time with this amazing man who forgets but will always be remembered.

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