One of the “companions” of aging is the unspoken question, “Am I starting to forget things that I should be remembering?”
This question is a bit comical to me in that, having worked as a pastor in a church, I have observed that “forgetfulness” or “distractedness” is not owned exclusively by any age group.
Children come with a knitted hat and leave without it. Parents of toddlers can’t remember the number of the room their child is assigned, and neither adult women nor adult men can remember what the date is for a seminar they have chosen.
For each of the above, forgetfulness is either taken in stride or used as a reason to laugh at yourself. But, for a Senior, this same level of memory loss points toward a fear of pathology.
For example, I have recently learned to make curried butternut squash soup. This has been a steep learning curve because I have had to look up the meaning of many of the words from the recipe. I didn’t even know what a butternut squash was. I imagined something the size of a softball. So, when the friend who did my grocery shopping asked what I needed from the store I told her I wanted four (4) butternut squash (as well as the other ingredients that were required for the soup.)
The squash, which I’m sure all my readers already know, is the size of a small baby. My friend, who had done the shopping, assured me they last a long time so I should just keep them all. After putting the other groceries away, I noticed I only had three (3) squash. I assumed I had put the fourth one in the pantry or somewhere.
Since that day, maybe three weeks ago, I have searched everywhere I could imagine for the fourth squash.
I asked myself, on several occasions, “How is it possible to lose a squash the size of a small baby”. And when I reminded myself that there is no real reason to look where I have looked many times I looked again.
Not willing to leave any stone unturned, I finally asked my grocery shopping friend if when she had brought me the four (4) butternut squash she might have taken one home with her. She casually responded by saying that she had only brought three.
I left the story right there and called in a cancellation for dementia screening.