Friday, 13 May 2016

When were we here?

I often surprise family and friends these days when we visit somewhere and someone says, "When were we last here?"

On a recent trip to a café, I was able to reply, "October 17, 2013. It was a Thursday and we stopped here on the way to visit that place in the countryside."

I even remembered what we had eaten and that in our subsequent visit we had spent some time identifying trees. The trees are included in my memory tag for the day as a way to store the features I need to identify them in future.

I was with my parents on both trips. My mother is suffering memory loss, which is becoming progressively worse. She asked repeatedly if we had been to the café before, even though it is one we have visited many times over the years, though most of those visits are lost in the mists before I began this process of remembering every day that passes.

Eventually my mother stopped asking if we had been to the café before, but then started to say she had been to the café just a few weeks ago. Somehow she had now connected with a past memory, but could not place it in time.

It is sad to see my Mother's memory failing her like this. I wonder if I am destined to suffer the same way in my old age and whether this process will have any impact on what happens.

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