“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills…. Amos 9:13
Happy Monday to all! I hope you had a nice weekend, full of joy and void of new/excessive caregiving challenges! Mine was quite nice. I ran 10+ miles Saturday for the first time since Covid and felt pretty darn good all things considered. Never one to be a speed demon anyway, I was pretty slow, but speed is never really my goal anyway. Then Sunday I participated in the 2021 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at my alma mater, Missouri State University. We climbed the bleacher equivalent to the 110 floors of the World Trade Center in honor of the 343 fallen fireman/police/first responders who died that day…and those who have died since. It was solemn, but it was encouraging all the while. I was going to run today, but my legs were tired and I knew I had a busy day at work ahead of me too, so I will make it up tomorrow. We also had our clothes drier give up the ghost this weekend, so we washed at home and dried at the laundromat in town just like it was 1990 again. 🙂 We make lemonade from lemons and had a nice weekend.
A recurring theme over the weekend was “Never Forget”. This phrase made me both more dedicated to remembering those lost in 9/11 and the troops sent to fight terror, and, in an odd, probably treatable with therapy way, very melancholy as I thought about those unable to never forget. In a way it made me want to find a cure even more and to get the word out on dementia prevention, for now our only Earthly plan to fight this disease. Never forget sounds like such a demand to those who would love the option of never forgetting.
Never forgetting also made me think of people who would love to forget, if you will. In my studies of the brain over the last decade, I have also had a deep interest in mental illness topics. I have multiple close family members who struggle with various psychoses ranging from Schizophrenia to PTSD to Anxiety, to Bipolar I&II. I have attended and benefitted greatly from the many, many sessions I have attended from NAMI. Note: This organization is worth your consideration for classes and donations. It is so interesting to me to think through the dichotomy of, on one hand grasping to every memory possible in the case of dementia to, on the other hand, pushing away specific memories from trauma. Much is being done in science in both spheres. We have talked a great deal over the three years of this blog about memory, and here are some interesting links on trying to remove memories: Link Link Link Link.
So what we are left with is a dual Crane Game in understanding thinking and memories in the brain…do we fight to keep it or fight to let it go? It also makes me think of the Pixar gem Inside Out …..and this explanation. It really makes you appreciate just how complex the brain is that we are scratching the surface of knowledge on this dichotomy….and have been for centuries.
Add to this topic the fact that I had to watch church this week because of the 911 event and one of the songs we sang was “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing“. This song has one line that says:
“Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.“
The term Ebenezer from this song is found several places in the Bible, notably in 1 Samuel. An Ebenezer meant a “stone of help” and was a symbolic stone left to mark an event that it was obvious that God had helped the Israelites in a tough situation. Think of it like a monument or, perhaps, a roadside cross. It was a memory aid because we are so quick to forget and/or take credit for what we don’t deserve.
So the bottom line of my daily dilemma here: So, how does the brain separate a stone of hope, a stone that is crowding out the plants like in the Ozark’s rock soil, or just a rock? How to we accidentially chuck a stone of remembering…or intentionally chuck a stone of forgetting? There is so much we don’t know about this process…and I will try to work on some discussion pieces about what we do know and what we expect we know on memory storage soon. Until then I just sit back and marvel at the complex life we are given and appreciate the Lord in His splendor for being so creative in spinning the web of my life…
Update: Nothing much new with mom. I get to see her tomorrow, Lord willin’. As of this weekend, we have officially been 1.5 years without having regular nursing home access in this Shawshanked, Covid mess…and it is stinkin’ hard. Pray things change soon.
Less than 2 weeks until the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Springfield. 🙂 I hope you can attend ours or one in your area!