Lately I am mid-thought and I can't remember the name of someone--an author, a political figure, an actor. I watched an episode of Modern Family the other night and had to wait until the credits rolled to get Minnie Driver's name. I kept thinking Mimi, knowing that wasn't it but close. Then the other morning I couldn't think of John McCain's name. I did every trick I knew but couldn't pull it out of the frontal lobe. Finally I Googled: 'Republican presidential nominee John' and thankfully Mr. Google filled in the rest for me. Good thing he has a bigger memory chip.
Sadly, my mother has a few close friends who are deep in the throes of Alzheimer's. It's frightening for her to be around women who, once engaging and delightful, are now forgetting how to hold a spoon. "Promise me," Mom said. "If I get that way, you'll put me somewhere and not let anyone come to see me like that." Better yet, she proposed to come up with a cluster of pills she could take if she ever felt herself slipping away.
But when would you know? Is it when you can't find your keys? We'd all be reaching for that special stash. No, it's when you hold the keys in your hands and can't remember what they're used for.
It reminds me of the '70s public service announcement for The United Negro College Fund: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Indeed, a mind is even more tragic when lost.
I'm trying not to make my forgetfulness a bigger deal than it is and chalking it up to a lack of sleep and mind-overload. How many telephone numbers do I know by heart? Too many. Birthdays and upcoming events on my calendar? Perhaps I need to write more things down.
It just might be contagious. My daughter stood in the foyer the other day, trying to tell me about a song and said, "You know...that girl who sings it...she's married to JayZ..."
"Yes, that's it," she said.
And she's only six.