Forgetfulness!

I log off from my work network and shut down my laptop. It’s late on a Friday afternoon and it’s been a busy week. I have one last item on my to-do list before I call it a day: write my mother.

I grab a piece of stationary and start the note. It will be a quick one. I’ll ask her how she’s doing and if she’s staying warm as the temperatures dip into the teens. I’ll give her an update on my kids; what we’re up to the next couple of weeks; when we next plan to visit her; and I’ll tell her that I love her. I could just as easily call or text her, but I like that the note will surprise her in the middle of the week and let her know that we’re thinking of her. 

Here’s my problem, though:

When I go to address the envelope, I write out my mother’s name and reflexively start to write the address of my youth, the house at the top of a long country road where I grew up and spent the first quarter of my life. I stop and rip up the envelope in frustration.  

My mother hasn’t lived in the house for years. After my father died, she moved to a small apartment closer to town and I still have to look up the apartment address each time I need it. I try to write my mother each week. Like clockwork, I have to look up the address each and every week. You would think I would know the address by hear, but no such luck. I think I know it, but I’ll transpose a number or second guess myself.

Of course, I laugh at the absurdity of the situation. I can tell you my home address and phone number from when I was a kid. I can even give you the landline phone number that my wife and I shared for the first 25 years of our marriage. If I think real hard, I can give you the apartment address we shared after we were first married. My mother’s address, though? The place where she lives today. Forget it. Forget about trying to perform the mental gymnastics to recall my own damn cellphone number.

Is this old age, amnesia, forgetfulness, or simple insanity? Let’s hope none of the above, but I’m not ruling out anything. Lol.

59 thoughts on “Forgetfulness!

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  1. You writing your mother regularly is the sweetest thing. I can just imagine how much she loves receiving those letters! As to forgetting the address, it makes sense, because you don’t have an emotional connection to the house your mom lives in now (besides her, of course). At any rate, that seems a more palatable explanation than old age, insanity, or amnesia – so that’s what I’d be going with. 😆

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, you’re so right! I have no attachment to my mom’s new house, so the address is not etched into my brain. I like writing to her. It’s funny too how cards and letter writing used to be more common. I like my smartphone, but it’s still fun to send the occasional letter too! Thanks for the feedback. Very much appreciate it!!!!😎😎😎😎

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh no. My mom hasn’t been diagnosed with anything yet and from everything I’ve read and know I don’t believe she has dementia. Just losing her memory terribly.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgetfulness in some ways is important, as maintaining all brain connects from information received will never be possible. Sometimes stress and mental pressure can result in us forcing out useful information which can prove frustrating. It isn’t just people ageing or ill people who forget. Some things are best forgotten 🙂

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    1. Yes, forgetfulness can play an important role. In this instance, I’m sure it’s all about attachment. My home address means something to me, I have memories of it. My mom’s new home is important because she lives there, but the number is not all that important to me. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s not amnesia, insanity or forgetfulness Brian. I’d call it simply “an unintentional weekly lapse.” Adult children who are (subconsciously) unwilling to note changes as their parents age (physically or mentally). Looking in my rear view of the last few years my parents were alive I stubbornly refused to note some of those changes. I didn’t want my parent’s mental or physical health to decline (or even to have a change of address). Think it’s a coping mechanism. You’re fine. Just accept the fact when you write your surprise note to mom, her (new) address has to be looked up and duly noted. Love your dedication…

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  4. Oh….I can relate! For me, remembering those childhood addresses and phone numbers is reflexive — they’re permanently planted — but addresses like your mom’s? I figure I have less of a personal, emotional attachment to the moves and migrations of family members…so their details flow through, but don’t reside in my wacky memory bank of a brain. Thanks for sharing…and I love that you’re writing to your mom, btw. So good! 🙂🙂🙂

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    1. Yea, I’m not sure if this blog worked the way I wanted. I wasn’t trying to comment on old age per se but how funny the brain works. I can remember my home phone number from a kid but I can’t remember my cell number!! Ha, ha. It’s like you wrote attachment. As always, thanks for the support!!!😝😝😝😝😎😎😎😎

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      1. Oh my goodness…you are SO right about that. Except for the fact that I’d be compromising my own “security” by sharing how I remember, it would be a great blog topic…so many different ways to keep track of that stuff! LOL! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I applaud you for taking the time to write your mother a letter, knowing it will surprise (and delight) her to receive it. I make a goal each year to write 4 people whom I consider important in my life an honest-to-God letter that gets sent via USPS. Some don’t even acknowledge it, some tell me electronically that they are going to respond equally (none of them ever do!) and one, who is a 3-hour time difference from me, sent me an electronic message that she’d love to chat by phone and gave me the hours she was always available (which never worked with mine).

    Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to remember your mother’s newest address. After all, at least you remember that she has a new address before you actually send the letter to her old address!

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    1. Yes, the brain is a funny thing. I like writing her. The funny thing is that even she has become more tech savvy. She always jokes that I could just text/Facebook chat with her. Ha, ha. I text her but I still send the letters, I know she likes them. Thanks for the feedback!!!

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  6. You are not alone … TR7-2705! Letter writing is something that has gone by the wayside … it’s a shame. We don’t have to remember things like we used to. Our childhood addresses were in grained … in case we got lost at a young age while out playing anywhere we wanted! Good post!

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  7. OMG Brian, this is kind of comical because I still remember my childhood phone number, old addresses, license plate numbers, and even my old landline telephone numbers. 🤔 I think one of the problems that makes it so frustrating nowadays is our “dependency” on modern technology to recall things we used to know. Yes, I still have my address books in one of my drawers in the kitchen, and depend on it more than I care to. But I don’t think you really need to worry about senility because there are a lot of us feeling the same as you. Stay strong my friend! 😜

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  8. I think it’s delightful that you write a letter to your mum every week. I’ve known so many, particularly older, people, who would be tickled pink to get a personal letter come through the letterbox rather than a bill. I have an elderly friend who lives on the south coast of England who would love a handwritten letter. Perhaps, I should take a leaf out of your book and write to her, although we speak on the phone every week. (She doesn’t have an email or mobile phone).

    I know what you mean about remembering your old addresses and phone numbers, as I can do the same. I remember the first phone number we ever had at my Mum and dad’s house when I was a young child. I remember my late Mum’s address spot on, but if you ask me the number of the house my daughter has lived in for over ten years, I can’t remember!

    Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year, Brian. 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s funny what is fresh in our mind and what comes slower. And you shouldn’t make too much of my writing, I don’t say all that much, it’s just a quick “hello.” It’s usually pretty short. She’s gotten a bit more used to social media, but she’s not real savvy with texting so it’s easier to write a letter. The hardest thing is that my handwriting is not what it used to be! Happy new year to you Ellie. It’s going to be a great year for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, such a ripe question. All the things you named that you can remember – you have a connection to. Maybe her apartment doesn’t have that same tie?

    I love that you write letters to your mom. What a beautiful practice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right Wynne. It’s attachment and technology. I know it’s in my phone, no need to remember the address. Funny just how our brains work. The writing is nothing, I don’t say all that much, just want her to know that I’m thinking of her. I can’t help but think too how I would feel if I was her age. Plus, I’m not always best about visiting. Trying to make up for that — if that’s possible.

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  10. I went upstairs a few days ago and forgot why I had walked up there. Fortunately, that is a very rare occurrence. Love the fact letter-writing is still alive and well in your family – technology is great, but there will always be something special about taking the time to write out letters, notes, cards, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I can’t too much credit about the letter writing. My letters to my mom are usually pretty short. There’s some guilt in the letters. I know that I don’t get to see her as much as I should. It’s my way of making it up to her. I just keep thinking that if I’m ever in her same shoes, I’ll want to know that my kids are thinking of me. She pooh-poohs the letters, says I don’t have to write them, but I think she secretly likes them. I do miss letter and card writing. We don’t send cards of encouragement like we used to. Anyway, thanks for reading. Appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think you need the added pressure of remembering new addresses. Hell, most of us don’t even know one another’s phone numbers nowadays because we don’t have to lol I think it’s cool enough that you even write your mother 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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