Forgetting Things

Susan G Holland
4 min readApr 11, 2024

A realization in this, my 87th year on planet earth!

SGHolland(c)April,2024

So many references to forgetfulness and inferences of various reasons one becomes forgetful!

For someone who is curious, this phenomenon is irresistible!

What else is there to do other than try to figure out why my brain is doing these kinds of tricks!?

Well, 87 is a lot of years, and, in my life I have known and loved many people who have slipped into this kind of wonderland. My children, now, have watched their mom get foggy-minded while looking around at the corners of the room trying to think of a name! Even thinking of THEIR names! Getting them mixed up.

My brain has been a lot of places over these years, and some of them have been downright dangerous! Like brain surgery after stroke! That is the most recent excursion I have made into “la la land.”

Well, NO! The most recent excursion happened today! This morning!

I am getting used to it. I laugh, and my kids smile and wait, knowing I am so frustrated that I cannot remember the names for things, people, places, and why I just came over the room and am standing in the kitchen!!!

How often do we see a dear little old man or woman standing in, say, Safeway, looking lost? Why? Why do they do that?

What happens to brains that are obviously getting old? It is such a frequent subject for studies, articles, medical reports, testing, testing, testing. Brain scans!**

Some of my most productive and innovative dead relatives have done remarkable things to serve, whether brain service, or brawn service. The famous and the hardly remembered…both kinds of valuable gifts to our world. Why do I know and remember that some of the brilliant people in my family got “wifty” as they aged. They were handled with kid gloves as they aged, and given a pleasant room or sometimes a lonely room to do their dying in.

If that sounds hardhearted, to call it “doing one’s dying,” it is with reason.
I am hardhearted about my own disabled brain and other parts of me which have developed aches, and vertigo, and breaks and sprains.

I make Smarty-pants jokes about my goofy behaviors, and I am fortunate that my kids love me enough to just wait and offer a hand patiently.

I got Smarty-pants early in life. And I became familiar with being “odd.”

(Not that odd! Just a bit unconventional.)

It was disability that gave me that unconventional beginning, and middle, and up and coming end. I got Polio as a baby. My unconventional doctor had traveled in Australia and Europe to study the puzzle of Infantile Paralysis. She ran into Sister Kenny! She studied the Sister Kenny treatment for poliomyelitis .

Dr Hough was an early adopter of the polio innovators, and did it in my little room in Swarthmore PA. In 1940. Long story short, I was the polio case that didn’t end up with braces on my legs, as did many of my school mates. I got to walk by virtue of Dr. Hough’s steady care over the time was first diagnosed until I was not only walking but running and riding a bike and swimming competitively!

I am now in a Senior Citizen’s home and I can STILL walk up and down flights of stairs!

I also flunked out of kindergarten?

I was too active! Hyperactive! Wanting to be moving all the time! The teacher said I was disruptive and sent me up to First Grade! (I was disruptive there, too, I sort of remember.)

Fortunately, I was a good learner, and was one year young for my class. But I was not your classic schoolgirl. Adventuresome. No good at hockey, but a very good goal keeper. Tried out for cheerleader, but no… didn’t have the looks and moves they were looking for. I was good at acrobatics.

Fast forward, now…in case the reader is feeling sleepy.

My history is full of such baffling contradictions. I’m not ashamed, any more, because I see ahead now that my journey has been a gift granted to an intensely curious individual who thought it “worth it” to find out what the actual truth is, even if it was risky.

So I am studying what is happening to my brain as well as what is creepily happening to this old body! Fascinating! And “the future” for me is a mystery! I always press on in a mystery story to see how it all turns out!

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Susan G Holland

Hacked too often here on Medium; and here I trusted it all these years! Beware!