Forgetting

Today, I moved home to NH from IL. Today, one of my biggest fears was realized. My 94-year-old, dear, Grandma Joan, forgot my name. My brother, Brendan, tried to prompt her: “Come on Joanie, you know this lady, who is she?” A shadow of confusion briefly crossed her face, followed by a twinkle of spunk in her eye as she tried to mask the fact that she’d forgotten something important: “of course I know this darling girl, her name is beautiful.”

She, of course, did not mean that my name was actually ‘Beautiful,’ but that I have a beautiful name. She smiled and held my face, “I’ve missed you.” A lump formed in my throat as my heart lurched in my chest. “I missed you so much,” I said back. Then rushed to say I needed to help make dinner, even though it was really an excuse to escape before she could question the tears I was blinking back.

Hurriedly, I texted my sister, Bridget, who in so many beautiful ways is like my mother. They both have this healthy, pragmatic grasp on life. Something I am often lacking as I can get too caught up in emotion. They recognize that to everything there is a season, that changes in season are not only expected but that they can even be good. Unsurprisingly, she was not distressed by this story. “That’s actually beautiful, it is sad, but I’m seeing the positive,” she texted back after I shared what Grandma Joan had said to Brendan.

A few minutes later, Grandma came into the kitchen. Blessedly, she reacted to my presence as if it was the first time she’d seen me since my arrival: “Cait, Cait! I’ve missed you!” There it was again. My name, safe in her mouth and mind. She’d forgotten, only for a moment.

Yet in that moment of forgetting and remembering, a blur of memories and gratitude filled my mind. For all the things she’s known in her life – the detailed stories she used to tell us of family members, her Encyclopedic knowledge of History and Geography, her abundant knowledge of flowers ( at one point in time I swear she had every species memorized).

Perhaps that knowledge is blurry now. Perhaps we are in a season of forgetting. But she still knows me, still knows my name, and more importantly, still knows my heart. And that is beautiful. ‘Grandma Joan’ is beautiful.


Thank you God for seasons of change, help us to welcome them without anxiety or fear. Thank you for moments that remind us not to take things for granted, for people that remind us of your love.




One thought on “Forgetting

  1. This is beautiful and I’m glad you’re home safe. Thank you for the reminder to not take things for granted.

    Like

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