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Should I Forget…

August 30, 2011

How many of you know someone who has battled Alzheimer’s?

Back in the early 2000’s (can’t remember which year specifically), my grandmother, the one I referred to dearly as “Maw” was diagnosed with the disease. It started slowly, but progressed faster and faster until eventually there was nothing left of the person that she once was. She was a beautiful soul and so full of life. When the disease took over, she spent many of her last days not even remembering who some of her children were.

It was awful to watch her fall apart that way. Every time I went to visit her, it broke my heart just a little bit more to see the person that she once was slipping further and further away.

Alzheimer’s is hereditary. And the fear that some day (though I pray in the very, very, very distant future…if at all) I may find myself falling victim to this disease. I hope that soon we’ll find a cure for it and rid the world of its heartbreak. But if we don’t, I love knowing that I’ll have my blog to look back on and remember my life. Though not as poetic as the works of Allie Hamilton in The Notebook, this little corner of my existence could certainly bring a few memories to mind.

Should I forget…there are a few things that I always want to remember…

……The simple joys of what it felt like to hold my husband’s hand for the very first time that November night. The way the music of Jeff Bates was playing in the background; the air was frigid and cold as we huddled together, sharing the pockets of my North Face jacket. The smell of boiled peanuts and carnival food lingering in the air around us. I want to remember that moment…that second in time, because that’s essentially the very instant that I knew I had met the one I’d been waiting for my entire life.

……The pure excitement and fear that overwhelmed me that second those two pink lines appeared for the first time. Joy, happiness, and gut-wrenching terror at the realization that I was going to be a mom.

……What it feels like to love, and be loved, unconditionally and eternally by someone. Especially when it is the only someone you were ever meant to be with. I waited a long time to meet Josh; worrying and doubting that we would ever find one another. But we did. And despite all of the little moments that work to drive us apart, we’ve grown closer and continue to thrive as a team, day after day.

……What it felt like to hold my precious baby boy in my arms for the very first time. The baby kicks and wiggles that were felt while he was still inside my womb, didn’t even do justice to what that very first instant of skin-on-skin bonding was like. I felt every emotion known to man that second. And I’ve never felt more love flow through my body, heart, soul and mind. Both for my son and for my husband—the wonderful, amazing man who helped bring me my son.

……How Josh and I curl up together, the same way, every single night. Both on our left sides, with my arm wrapped around his chest; his hand placed on top of mine. Every night, without fail, we fall asleep together, our breaths syncing with one another until we both drift off.

……The gentle and natural way that Noah’s little head finds a place on my shoulder whenever I scoop him up. First thing in the morning, with the sleep still in his eyes, he walks to me and says sweetly, “Good Morning, Mommy” before finding my arms and snuggling up for a few more minutes of rest.  His goofy smile, he silly laugh…the way he absolutely and totally completes the life that I’ve been given.

……The softness and smoothness of Noah’s tiny little cheek against mine. Whether we’re cuddling on the couch or wrestling in the floor, he always pauses for a few seconds to love on his mommy. The way his tiny little hand wraps around my finger and his big blue eyes light up whenever the two of us are together. We share a unique bond, my son and me. One that will not never be broken.

Should my memory fail me, in one way or another, I hope that if nothing else I’m able to look back and realize that I was given and blessed with a beautiful life, a happy and healthy family, and all of the love that I could imagine. Things are far from perfect, but the good heavily outweighs the bad. And if this is the outcome of those “hard” times we battle, I’ll take it. Because I can’t imagine life getting any better.

If you knew you were going to lose your memory, what things would you include a letter to yourself?

This post was inspired by Nicole @ In These Small Moments from her post: A Letter to Myself…Things that I Hold Most Dear.

  1. […] Should I Forget: An intimate and personal post about some of my most precious memories…things I’ll never want to forget and always hope to remember. […]

  2. Sarah says:

    I love this. What a great idea. My grandma is starting to suffer from Alzheimer. So very sad.

    • Courtney K. says:

      It’s a dirty, rotten disease. Sending up prayers for your family. It’s definitely one of the hardest things to see a family member suffer through.

  3. Jessica says:

    The post definitely made me think, what would I want to remember if that were to happen and I can say that I would want to remember everything. It’s crazy to think that I might once forget some of the best things in life…actually, I can’t think about it. I am so sorry that your Grandma had to go through that!

    P.s. Love the new theme 🙂

    • Courtney K. says:

      Thanks girl! I think that’s why I love blogging so much. Because, even if I never lose my memory, the little moments in life tend to slip away as the days go by. I can go back and read entries in this blog from when Noah was itty-bitty and they stir up memories that I had since forgotten.

  4. Shell says:

    This is so sweet.

    I don’t ever want to forget all those small things that make up who I am.

  5. Courtney says:

    I’ve always thought Alzheimers a very cruel disease. I just can’t imagine my last days not knowing my own family – remembering all the wonderful memories with them. And then for the family watching that person slip away…. Very cruel, indeed. I certainly pray for a cure to come quickly. Great moments you’re remembering.

    • Courtney K. says:

      I would hope that with all of this amazing modern technology and medicine, that someone, someday could find a cure. It would break my heart to spend my last days on this Earth not recognizing my husband or my son (and whatever children come along). A life so full of love and happiness…it would be heartbreaking (and IS heartbreaking) to see it end that way.

  6. Kimberly says:

    Now I’m crying! I hope that my blog will someday be a way to remember these little moments and the wonderful feelings we have as a family.

    • Courtney K. says:

      Aww, boo! Didn’t mean to make you cry! 🙁 But, yes! I love that I will be able to look back on my blog (whether my memory goes or not) and see our life unfold through the years.

  7. Ashley Sisk says:

    Ya know, I hope that my blog becomes a journal for me down the road…to look back and remember all that life had in store for me. It’s so easy for time to fast forward and for us to forget the small stuff…but those are definitely amongst some of the things I want to remember too!

    • Courtney K. says:

      Absolutely. And time seems to speed up once a kid comes along. Seeing the world through the eyes of a parent gives an entirely new perspective to life. I look forward to seeing your blog change and grow as your family grows.

  8. Lindsey says:

    Alzheimer’s would be one of the worst ways to go, I think. I’m not sure if it’s worse for the family or the sufferer – probably the family. It doesn’t run in my family, thank God. I’m terrified of cancer, too. I hope to go peacefully in my sleep when I’m really old.

    • Courtney K. says:

      That’s exactly how I hope to go someday when I’m old and have lived a full life. Cancer runs in our family, too. But, like you said, I think I’d rather battle that, than forget who the people I care the most about are.

  9. Mandi says:

    Beautiful Courtney! 🙂

    I don’t want to think about losing my memory… but you are right… I’m glad I’ll have this blog to remind me if I ever do. I’m sorry you had to go through that with your grandma… I can’t imagine how painful that was.

    Btw, the changes are looking great! I love the search box in your header!

    • Courtney K. says:

      Thanks girl! I hope it’s never anything I have to face. I pray for a long healthy life, with no sickness. 🙂

  10. Laura says:

    Wow – How beautiful – and painful. I too am worried about Alzheimer’s. We are currently dealing with a full blown case of it in my grandmother, and we are pretty sure my grandfather is starting to show signs as well. My Mom is concerned that she is already starting to get forgetful. Alzheimer’s is scarier for me than even something like cancer, which is also something that is in our family. My other grandmother battled cancer for years before it eventually took her life a few years ago. But it was something that she conquered over and over.

    Alzheimer’s doesn’t get conquered.

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories and for giving us a glimpse into what is most precious in your life. I hope you never ever forget!

    • Courtney K. says:

      I agree. I watched one grandmother die of a stroke, one of Alzheimer’s, a grandfather to heart disease and have seen a lot of close family friends battle cancer. My high school headmistresses passed away just last week after fighting Ovarian Cancer for three years. It’s a nasty, nasty thing. Both cancer and Alzheimer’s. But, like you, I think I’d rather battle the cancer than spend my last days not remembering who my family or friends were. Hugs to your family. I know how hard it is to watch someone you love face something so terrible.

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