Saturday, March 6, 2010

Most Feared Thing Not Involving a Phobia

The thing I fear most, is losing my memories, my mind, and being forgotten. I feel fine, but something is different.

Words, names, places, and people, are disappearing. Everything is harder to find, it's slowly slipping away.  I know it's a normal part of aging, but either way, it still scares the hell out of me. Words, arguments, discussions, and stories, that's who I am. Without my own history, in my own mind, I'll have nothing.

I'm frantic about getting it all down in writing and hope I don't run out of time. I feel that I've lost a lot of my "life" stories already and I don’t know where to find them.

I've always felt that you never really die until people forget about you.  I'm not afraid of death, I'm really not afraid of it at all.  I'm afraid that I'll be forgoten.

21 comments:

Joe Cap said...

Wow, I hope this is not true, Pat.
I hope you are exagerating when you say you are forgetting things. You have such good stories to tell.
I feel that you don't have to necessarily lose memories just because you are getting older. I have not been getting that way...(at least, not that I can remember!)
Make sure you keep learning new things, challenge our mind, it will keep it active.

Pat Tillett said...

It's true, but Dr. says it's normal... I do keep my brain busy. Love to do crosswords, totally kick ass on jeopardy, etc. What I did (just retired)for a living was very "thinking and memory" oriented. That's the stuff, I'd rather have fade...

Mainland Streel said...

I think about this a lot, and it's inspired me to write down my own stories (the more personal ones that I don't blog about). I think it takes many years to realize who one's parents are, and I'd like for my future kids to have a glimpse into who I am someday.

I think you're doing the right thing in writing it all down now. I love your stories and the way you tell them. I'm really glad that you decided to share them with the rest of us. :)

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for the nice words! There are some things I don't blog about either. At least not yet!

Copyboy said...

I can empathize with the aging part. You have a nice style when it comes to your writing. Great blog.

Pat Tillett said...

Hey, thanks so much. I'm sure being a child of the 60's and 70's had something to do with it also...thanks for commenting...I've been to your blog also...in fact, I'm going there right now!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

OMG Brother Pat - welcome to my nightmare. I can avoid the Cephalopods if I avoid the water but I can't avoid my memories slipping away. It's one of the reasons I do my blog and often tell stories from my past. At least I will live on in that way. The things I thought were cool or interesting back then for my niece and nephew to read one day. In fact I called my lawyer a few weeks ago and added my blog addy to my will just in case something happens then I have a final message to be posted. How starange to do that eh? It came about because I was talking to a friend about the time we couldn't remember a Bruce Willis movie and actaully drove into a small town to find a video store to ask the video guy what the movie was - it was Fifth Elememnt- but that freaked me out. I never forget anything...well up until then.

solfine said...

Hey Pat,
Get with IT.
Stop thinking about what you're forgetting and start enjoying the things you find that you thought you were missing.
You youngsters are all alike...
You worry about crap and let the world pass you by. Oldest Military Blogger

The Abbot said...

I can identify with this. Most of us I feel will be forgotten in a generations time. Sad..but true.

Pat Tillett said...

Abbot, so true! I've pretty deeply into my family tree and that seems to bring people long gone, back to life. It's very interesting as well.

solfine, believe me, I'm enjoying myself. I don't dwell on what I can't remember too much. Maybe I would if I could remember it...

Pat Tillett said...

Cal, I can relate to that. I have 2 friends that have really good memories about movies and music. So I ask them when I can't remember something. Many times if I just quit trying to remember it pops into my head later (much later)...

Anellen said...

My sister and I talked a lot about this before she died. She worked with Alzhiemers patients weekly and our mom had been diagnosed with this very disease at the VERY YOUNG age of 60. My sister never had to watch my mom suffer, which was a blessing in a way, but I sure do miss both of them! It still creeps up in my mind - will this happen to me? But I try to stay busy and not think too much - that's a problem I've always had. But, listen dude, it doesn't sound like you're losing anything to me! You and your wife just stay active - you keep writing - and we won't forget! (PS - if it makes you feel better - at 36, I can't recall certain memories, happenings, numbers, etc. My neices tell stories about things that happened to us sometimes and I wonder - was I even there!? LOL!)

Pat Tillett said...

I've known a couple of folks that suffered from that terrible disease. It's just too sad to see what happens.

Maybe we only have so gigabytes of memory available in our brains. Once you exceed the capactiy, some old stuff has to be "deleted" to make room for the new...

Anonymous said...

Hi:
I enjoy reading your blog. I'm finding out things about you I never knew, after knowing you since March of '73.

mrscolombo said...

I've been into genealogy since 1976....most people don't understand how identifying people in my familytree, especially if I can find a picture, marriage certificate, draft card, whatever....gives them a new dignity. They were and are important....I am because they were. You rock Pat...now I have to get off this blog and do some work!!!

Pat Tillett said...

Toni,
I totally agree. Along that line, I think we are going back to KY this summer for my family reunion...You know I'm going to be interviewing some folks while I'm there...

Tocalabocina said...

Pat, thank you for instilling in me a new fear. Honorable mention to the Discovery channel for featuring a Komodo hunt last night and bringing death by dragon to the top of my list of phobias.

Seriously though, this was spot on. Very poignant and well written.

Pat Tillett said...

Death by Komoto dragon isn't very high on my list either!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous said...

The word of honour.

Pat Tillett said...

Anonymous - Say what?

tapirgal said...

So right on, except I am afraid of death, too, although not so much death by komodo.