A memory I am grateful for…

I remember everyday, almost unapologetically. It is how I’m able to continue the work of writing this book of old tales, rhymes, twists and turns. It is those prominent memories that fuel my hands and allow them to move across the page and onto the next one. A memory I am grateful for is the first one that happens before the actual realization, in which I am (re)membering and (re)collecting. The process of (re)visiting the past is an entirely personal one, which also means that it happens often. These memories may not be entirely and accurately (re)constructed. They may not even make sense. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the capacity to remember, untouched and undisturbed by the threats of Alzheimer’s disease or even Parkinson’s. I have seen both afflictions invade the minds and bodies of older folks, whom I have loved and seem so especially attracted to in conversation and community. They are vessels of half, full and long truths. They are reservoirs of endless memories up until they are destined to meet their makers, but who says it all ever ends. In conversation with older folks, when it didn’t include the Medicaid, Medicare or home care services I could help them obtain, I realized the past (again). Then, I would suddenly find myself being grateful for the contrast between my being young and them old. Let me not think that to be old is a wretched state to live in, because it never is. I welcome aging with open arms, as every day passes through the hands of a standard clock. I am grateful for the memories I haven’t had yet because I already know they’ll be seductively influenced by the older memories that haven’t climbed to the front of my mind. I touch my face too often and have a forehead that’s been called a five-head, yet another memory I am grateful for because it taught me what it was to be seen. The long, black hairs on my arms and legs and the bullying that followed their unceasing growth also taught me that. It taught me to not hide my forehead behind some bangs even though I’ve had them since I was a little girl. The (hair)styles on my body suit me, you know? I (re)collect memories as a full kind of profession to bond different truths into one line, hoping that in doing so, I can break free from the old, rusted chains that make me and my other memories ignorant. A memory I am grateful for is the memory that is always in progress because it actually doesn’t want to remember itself, so I try not to abuse it, and instead stroke it along the edges of its face, making sure to not press down too, too hard. You know? I’m allowing it to show itself, slowly, on its own, when it is made up and ready.

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