Posted in Books, Family, Fibromyalgia, Movies, Parenting, Uncategorized

Don’t You Forget About Me

1alice18We all forget things.

  • We’ve all forgotten where we put our car or house keys.

  • Who hasn’t walked into a room and forgotten why?

  • Been speaking when the word you want goes missing, you know it’s there, you grope around in your mind, finding other words that might work in it’s place, but the word you wanted is gone.

  • I’m forever putting things ‘where I know they’ll be’ then fairies spirit them away, only to be found later in a totally illogical spot. Those fairies.

Forgetting is normal. Our minds are full. Overfull. We’re stressed or tired.

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What if it isn’t just that?
1alice8What if forgetting is a symptom?
I made the mistake/best choice to watch Still Alice, based on the stunning novel by Lisa Genova about a 50-year-old Linguistics professor who learns she has early onset Alzheimer’s. I hadn’t been quite prepared for the visceral punch of watching a woman close to my age lose her mind and herself.
How can your thoughts, memories, love, dreams, the essence of who you are all be ripped from you, not by some invading army, some natural disaster, but by your own brain?

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How could we lose: Our Dad’s laugh. Mom’s wisdom. Joking with siblings. Husbands. Wives. Friends. The smell of our children as babies. The feel of loved ones in our arms. Our first date, first kiss, first job. Or our best date, best kiss, best job? I can’t even begin to imagine staring at pictures of family and friends and not knowing who they are.
Our knowledge and memories so greedily gathered over the years, erased as though they never happened.
Losing who we are, even before we’re gone.

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In the movie, Alice (played the exquisitely talented Julianne Moore) quotes Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, One Art, sad and famous words,
“The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.”
As a person with Fibromyalgia I’ve long appreciated and hated those words. For those who live with illness every day the art of losing isn’t hard to master, it becomes more of a science. You learn to manage, modify, accommodate, cope, compromise, let things go, adjust, re-adjust and always adjust your expectations – there’s a trick to life, except you’re not always sure it isn’t being played on you.

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At times we all want to forget. Forget pain. Forget sorrow. Forget humiliation. Forget betrayal. Forget loss. The seductive lure of forgetting makes us forget that remembering is a gift, one that should never be wished away.

I won’t recommend this film. Not because it wasn’t wonderful, it was.

I won’t urge you to watch this film. Instead watch the news, so full of ISIS, FIFA, elections that are months or even years away, what celebrities are wearing, eating, doing, it’s all sooooo important, we really should be paying close attention.

Don’t worry about Alzheimer’s, cancer, MS, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, asthma, and all the other illness that take our loved ones.

Don’t watch this movie, there wasn’t any sex, violence, special effects, car chases, CGI, superheroes. It’s only about change, dignity, character, and highlights that things we too often think matter, you know, little things, petty things, stupid things, don’t matter at all.

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Author:

Very me

101 thoughts on “Don’t You Forget About Me

  1. I’ll be watching this one – I’m topped up with royal spawn and fashion that’s “the 90’s only better”. I have ME (the 3rd evil sister to MS & Lupus) and memory loss is one of the more frustrating things.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A touching post, Donna. Well done. Wouldn’t it be nice if, knowing there are to many memories for us to keep them all, we could chose the ones we would forget? It seems like they could make a pill or a contraption for that if they wanted to… Mega hugs dear friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be amazing, but I often think, what if we removed some memories and other memories where tied to them and we lost those too. I’d like it if, only if we could just take out selective memories. Hope this week is being good to you and now I’m off to read your latest post – I wanted to make sure my mind wasn’t on anything else, so I could enjoy and remember it. 🙂 Megahugs!!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not going to watch that movie because the idea of it terrifies me. I have a father with Alzheimers and I worry every day that I’ll inherit that. Every time I can’t remember something I worry that it’s the beginning of the disease taking root in my brain. Good thing I have a blog so that someday I can look back and remember all the things I wrote about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You mean Still Alice doesn’t have car chases and explosions… No green screen flying scenes…. No subtle and no so subtle advertising… Right when I bought my ticket on Fandango… Oh well, oh look they are making another Fast and Furious: Stolen Cars

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was some product placement – Apple of course, but indie films, even higher budget ones I suppose must take what they can get. 😉
      No, it’s just a movie about people living life as it changes and changes and changes. 🙂
      Congrats on the new grandbaby!!! 🙂

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  5. Actually I was wondering whether or not I wanted to see this one. The subject reminded me of of the Sarrah Polley film, Away From Her, which was beautiful but a real punch in the gut.
    But now I think you’ve convinced me that I HAVE to watch it.
    By the way, your keys are on the coffee table 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really liked that movie, but it was also heart-wrenching, but so poignant.
      I hope you like it.
      Thanks, no wonder the car wouldn’t start. 😉
      Hope this day treats you well, Norm and I hope you’re feeling better now. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry if you misunderstood, I know my readers aren’t shallow (hence the ‘too often think’) which is why I thought they’d understand. Whether you watch it or not is irrelevant to me, it’s not like I was paid to endorse it, it was just a movie I watched. Hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂

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      1. I watched just one alzheimer’s movie and it really had a big effect on me. Still does, and that was years ago. It was a made for T.V. movie with Joanne Woodward. It made me think about how that would be if it happened to me, and how I should write my stories down in case I forget them some day.

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      2. I remember that one, vaguely, with the Man of La Mancha guy (I’m trying to remember things without looking them up, but I can’t get his name), anyway, yes, that was something about remembering love, back in the 80s, it was beautiful. Sadly because I was younger it probably didn’t impact as it should have.
        Writing down stories is an excellent idea because as much as we think we’ll remember them, sadly, we may not.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure remembering pain is a good thing… They say that women forget the pain of childbirth so as to keep the human race going, and I guess that’s a good thing. But memories of pain seem to make chronic pain worse, as the pain becomes a cycle — in our neurons and nervous system — that can’t be broken. And of course for those who suffer from PTSD, remembering pain is not a good thing. Still, one has to remember to break free of the memories…

    I think food helps us forget pain, but only for a moment in time. But then people end up becoming addicted to those things that help us forget.

    Seems like the only answer is… LSD. 😀

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    1. lol Oh, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, it might take you out of the moment, but when it drops you back down, well…anything too addictive is probably more of something to hide from.
      I think pain, like everything has to be accepted for what it is, part of life and to find things that ease the pain without forgetting. 🙂

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  7. Such a thoughtful, cleverly twisted post. Since seeing the film my wife and I constantly test each other with the name and address you need to remember. We laugh but behind it there’s the unspoken query that dare not speak its name. Thanks

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  8. Hi Donna – it’s heartbreaking, isn’t it? I haven’t seen the movie yet, but have been planning on it. It’s storming here now and supposed to continue all weekend, so hopefully I’ll fit it in. Thanks for bringing attention to Alzheimer’s here as well as other conditions that certainly do deserve more of our attention. 🙂

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    1. It is heartbreaking and makes me appreciate all of what I have. I’d read the book but that was like 6 years ago so I wasn’t as close in age, also, the visual images of the loss were so profound.
      Yes, we’re supposed to get a storm today too. Hope both of ours are just regular ones, not supersizing. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Folks our age worry about the forgetful moments a lot, don’t we, Donna? I’m so with you here. Seeing the trailers for this one made me squirm. Imagine that, a movie about real fears! Yeah, I’ll watch carefully and remember what I still have, my friend. Thank you.

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  10. I read the book but haven’t seen the movie yet. Outstanding post, Donna. I especially liked this line you wrote, “The seductive lure of forgetting makes us forget that remembering is a gift, one that should never be wished away.” Fabulous. Sums it all up. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Thank you kindly. That line sounded so weird in my head, but it was what I wanted to say and I hoped it was decipherable. 🙂
      Hope this day is being good to you. 🙂

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      1. I’d plaque it if it were my line. It’s perfect.
        Yes, this day is good. I’m surrounded by two cats who think if they keep staring hard enough, I’ll feed them t*w*o* hours early. Ha. Not a chance!

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      2. Yes, they start two hours before suppertime but I don’t give in because they’ll be hungry before I turn in for the night.
        My son-in-law shut off the power to fix something yesterday and I reset my clock radio, but not the alarm. Got to sleep in for a change–about 1-1/2 hours–and my cats are so well trained to wait for the alarm, they didn’t even attack or try to wake me up cause breakfast was late. Gotta love them, ❤ ❤ ❤

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      3. It was a treat to sleep in. I even had cats in the past—when I gave them more of my time–fetch and place the toy on a sheet of paper by my feet as well as sit before they got fed. I’m know. 😀 😀 I’m a cat lady.
        😛

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      4. Oh he shines, all right. He’s a lap cat and I can’t get anything done because he’s squirrely on my lap and I can’t reach the keyboard. Typos galore. 😀 😀 He’s a dickens of a cat. 😛

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  11. Julianne Moore is amazing. You’re absolutely right – in the end the ability to remember those personal though seemingly insignificant thing seems the most frightening.

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      1. Oh, yeah, you know I was almost going to say I should watch the movie then but maybe I’ll reflect a bit more on what you said. Yes, the movie raises awareness, but it’s such a depressing message.

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  12. My mom fell and literally broke her head on a concrete floor. She was in a coma for a few days and awoke deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. Dad chastised her for not being able to do the things she used to to instead of understanding that she’d never be the same again. Never one to give up, she self-rehabilitated (since there was no help for poor people with traumatic brain injury in the 1960’s). She once told me that her greatest victory was to write/fold/stamp a letter, walk 1 block to the mailbox and back home again all in 1 step.

    There are so many things that can go wrong with the fragile human mind and body. It can happen over time or over night. Worrying about it takes away from the experience of the scents, sights and sensations constantly flowing around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I guess I will have to watch this one! I have experienced so many of the things that you brought up and it never gets any easier. Feels like most days, most people just don’t understand and really don’t care to understand. It seems like it’s only when you’ve experienced these things first hand, that finding a cure or help for people in these situations becomes important.

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  14. Don’t think I should watch it. I’ve always been a bit lacking in the memory department, and if I should lose any of the bits which actually function I’d be in serious trouble!

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  15. Great post Donna, this movie sounds like worth using the time for.
    I think that we need to learn to appreciate every good day we have and practice to stay grateful for our lives 😉

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  16. You wrote: “You learn to manage, modify, accommodate, cope, compromise, let things go, adjust, re-adjust and always adjust your expectations – there’s a trick to life, except you’re not always sure it isn’t being played on you.”

    My reply: Wow! Yes!

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  17. Personally, Alzheimer’s is the most terrifying of diseases to me. It robs one of their memories late in life when a person needs them the most I feel. My grandfather lived into his nineties, which was wonderful but was slipping due to the disease the last few years. He would tell the same story over and over and I would react with excitement as if it was the first time I’d heard it. Near the end, he didn’t recognize anyone specifically but we were blessed that his feelings of love were still rooted in him as he would smile at us. One of the last times i visited him I shaved him and he looked at me, searching my face in a confused way until he made eye contact and then would smile. He might have thought I was his twin brother, or his father, or maybe even a dear friend. I didn’t care. I was his little buddy. My grandmother lived to 97 years, and only became distant at the very end as well due to what I believe is that she read a lot and it kept her mind fresh. She would call me Elmo (my grandfather’s name) and I would respond to her the way he would and her face would light up. She was both his and my Sweetie. Great post. I enjoy it very much.

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  18. Lost two important people to that disease. I watched the movie and was surprised that I did not cry. It is a fantastic movie, and you are right = people do not want to face something so much more of a threat than any of the things we will see on television news. On a side note, those fairies truly do make me laugh every time I find deodorant in the freezer.

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    1. I would much rather know about everything, good and bad then I can choose what to react to to, act upon, ignore, enjoy, or try to change. 🙂
      Yes, those fairies surely do like to keep us on our toes! 😉
      Hope this day is treating you kindly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I choose not to watch this movie. The content is quite disturbing especially as you get older and when you lost a grandmother to it. Not that I don’t confront my share of scary things each and every day but in this case I’m not going to even do more second guessing every time I can’t find something I know I put away in the perfect place. But, I’m going to choose not to watch the news tonight also – balance. 🙂

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    1. Everyone has choices to make. I was surprised at how uplifting it was, it really reminded me to enjoy the here and now.
      Hope this day is treating you kindly. 🙂

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    1. I’m pretty sure it terrifies everyone on some level, a lifetime erased as though it didn’t exist, horrifying.
      By the by, started following your blog, love the ‘real’ movie reviews. 🙂

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  20. Second post about it that I’ve read today and I start thinking that I should not watch this movie… Great post… Loved reading what you were saying and yes, it’s a scary thought that all those little moments we forgot little things might suddenly turn into something much bigger…
    I’ve nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Award. I understand if you don’t accept awards or if you’ve accepted this one already. If that would be the case, just see it as a sign of my appreciation for your blog. https://amommasview.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/and-the-sisterhood-of-the-world-award-goes-to/

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    1. Congrats on the award, well-deserved!!!
      Thank you kindly for the nomination. I appreciate the thought and love your blog choices – awesome!
      While I no longer accept awards I loved your questions and thought you deserved answers.
      If there is an obstacle in front of you do you try to go through, around or over it?
      I usually go through once I’m ascertained I can’t go around, under or over it.
      Water, beer or wine?
      Depending on the decade…right now, water.
      Sweet or savory?
      Sweet.
      What is the one thing you never leave your home without?
      Money.
      The top 3 things on your bucket list?
      Helping my son reach his potential, finishing my book, publishing a book.
      If you would have to pet-sit a snake or a spider, which one would it be?
      Snake.
      Which song do you really, really, really not like?
      I can’t think of any, I usually have to hear them to remember I hate the,
      In which sport would you wish to win an Olympic gold medal?
      Is writing in there, it should be? 😉
      Which one is your favorite movie?
      Too many to name, I’m an addict.
      What role would you like to play in this movie and why? Would you like it to be reality?
      I don’t think I would be a good actress and besides Bridget Jones I doubt any part would suit, as for the reality part, Colin Firth, say no more. 😉
      Thanks again and congrats!!! You’re amazing!

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  21. I feel for you about your Fibromyalgia, also feel for those who get Alzheimer’s as in this fantastic movie, who feel ashamed that it is their mind they are losing. I loved her idea of using a speech, a yellow marker to go over the parts she spoke out loud, to help keep her place. I was holding my breath when she dropped the whole pile of papers. She must have had them numbered because she kept on going. . . Cried at the end, too. You will be in my hopes and prayers…

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    1. It was very difficult to watch, but so worth it.
      Yes, I did that too when she dropped the papers too, I thought, oh no. I loved the way she did it, I actually do that myself with so much, I have many different colours too. 🙂
      I cried a lot during it. Thank you kindly and hope this day is treating you well. 🙂

      Like

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