One of things that I’m so proud about myself was my sharp memory. It was probably the reason why other people thought I was smart, because I remember a lot of things, and since I’m a voracious reader, I learned a lot from what I read and I was able to share what I learned to others because I remember them.
I remember names, dates, specific details, so I had no problem with history and biology. I remember songs and singers and composers as well as poems and writers, titles of books and authors. There was even a time when I was in mid 20s that I remember serial numbers of air conditioning equipment and my PLDT budget card number which was composed of 16 digits.
I knew how special that gift was. I used it, I enjoyed it and I never ever abuse it in any way nor use it in a bad way. But much as I want to hold on to it for much longer, it’s beginning to slip away, probably due to old age, stress or something else.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been starting to forget things.. like names of old acquaintances, dates of special occasions, places I’ve been to, titles of movies I watched. I can’t even memorize songs lately. Then, I started to forget schedules of departmental meetings, PTA meetings, list of things to buy from the mall, even the list of what to do the whole day.
My husband said I have to start writing things down, so I tried it, but I forgot where I wrote them. And eventually, I forgot that I wrote a list at all so I just wasted time writing a list. But the worst case of my forgetfulness was when I was in the middle of a lecture. I was discussing a topic I knew by heart and the words were just naturally and spontaneously coming out of my mouth, and then… I stopped in the middle of a sentence because I forgot what I was about to say.
I stood frozen in the middle of the room with 30 or so pairs of eyes looking at me, waiting for what I have to say. I didn’t know what to do. Clueless, I turned around and faced the board. Luckily, I wrote down some of the important details I was discussing, so, I got an idea about the topic I had in hand.
I was shaken. After the lecture, I went to my locker and cried. I knew I was losing something very special and I was sad and scared. I was so scared I checked out the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. But then again, if it would go, it would go no matter how much I want to hold on to it. And since I don’t believe much in memory enhancers or whatever they call it, I decided to just enjoy it while I still have it and if it goes, it goes..