My mom’s 95th birthday was July 12, the same birthday as Henry David Thoreau’s. (The same day, not the same year.)
Monday, July 15th, is the birthday of Forgetful Jones, a Sesame Street Character. Forgetful Jones is a cowboy who has two horses ~ Buster, and buster’s brother Whatshisname. Laurent Lin, Muppet workshop builder, said, “Forgetful Jones…brought out more of the simple, sweet side of Richard…” (Richard Hunt was Forgetful Jones’ performer/voice.)
Maybe Forgetful Jones had the same type of dementia my mother has, because she also brings out the simple, sweet sides of many people—myself included—even now when she can’t remember who people are, where she is, or what day it is.
My mother’s memory is confused, but her gentle temperament remains.
By definition, memory is “… a person’s power to remember things; the mind regarded as a store of things remembered.” Lately, I’ve been very interested in what others have to say about memory. Here are some of the quotes I’ve found by writers. (Sorry, no doctor, psychiatrist or nurse quotes. I was not part of the medical profession; I was an English, literature, speech and writing teacher.)
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain
“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” ~ Rita Mae Brown
“Touch has a memory.” ~John Keats
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they really are.” ~ Marcel Proust
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” ~Cormac McCarthy, from his novel, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES
“Memory is a part of the present. It builds us up inside; it knits our bones to our muscles and keeps our hearts pumping.” ~Gregory Maguire, from his book, SON OF A WITCH.
And for my dad, who died of Alzheimer’s, and my mother, who is losing the battle against dementia, this is my favorite quote about memories and life: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell