When my mom’s close friend passed away three months ago, I debated whether or not to take her to the wake. I was exhausted, weather forecasts were terrible, and the journey would include an expensive cab ride to and from the funeral home.
“She’ll never remember it,” another friend said. “I don’t think you should bother.”
Sound advice, I thought, but in the end I didn’t listen to it.
I took her to the funeral home, and the family was overjoyed to see her. She seemed really happy to be there. But the next day, she had no recollection of it. She’d even forgotten that her friend had died.
Still, I’m so glad I took her.
We spend so much energy and time trying to lay down good memories, doing things that may not be much fun in the moment, but that we’ll remember the rest of our lives. We raise our children with lessons and experiences we hope they’ll remember well into adulthood. Memories make us who we are.
But Alzheimer’s is teaching me that memories — like anything in life — can disappear, and so we also have to live in the moment, and for the moment. Because the moment is all we really have.
I’m so glad I didn’t deny my mom the moment of saying goodbye to her friend, even if her memory of it is gone forever.