Forget Me Not.

My completely random thought of the day occurred on the way back to work from a relaxing lunch break listening to the best of the best Afilio hits. I’m no scientist, never will be and I actually hope that extensive research has already been done but here it goes:

Alzheimer’s and/or dementia is one of those silly things that I fear. There are so many things in this world to ultimately die from or some disease to get..heart disease, ALS, tumors, cancer, etcetera. But what could be worse than literally losing your mind? Losing the memories. Losing the ability to function day to day. How to dress yourself or know who your children are. It’s absolutely debilitating.

My great grandma had Alzheimer’s. Now, I don’t know if that’s what she actually died from, I was young. But I do remember her before the onset of the disease. I don’t know when it started, I don’t even know how old I was when she died but I remember her remembering me. I remember the buttered saltine crackers she gave us every time we came over. I remember her showing us the secret hiding caves in the upstairs bedroom. I remember her clothes and her cookies.

I didn’t think about it then or even in the years since she died..about why or how she died. Recently, I’ve been thinking about memory loss because it scares me. Is it hereditary? I’m almost afraid to do the research on it but I will. There are moments where I don’t know what I want to say so I say something else instead. It doesn’t happen often, really it seems to only happen when I’m at home. The other day I asked my boyfriend to get me some ice cream and ketchup when really I meant ice cream and a spoon. Why did I say ketchup? There was no ketchup in sight. Does my brain turn it’s dial down when the door to the apartment unlocks at precisely 5:17 each week day? My boyfriend calls me out on it whenever it does happen but what’s the matter with me? Is it concerning or is my brain just not trying hard enough when I’m lounging on the couch? I know what I want to say but my voice doesn’t seem to be connected to my brain.

I kind of got into a rant there. What I’m wondering is if the science world has asked about music in relation to memory loss. I’m sure they have. They had to have, right? As I said, I was listening to “Enjoy” by Afilio on my way back to work this afternoon. As soon as that track came on it immediately brought me to the street you turn by Domino’s Pizza in Bemidji. I flashed back to the lost search for the hilly road where the concert was. It was held in some dudes garage. I remembered the damp grass and the gravel driveway. Where we parked, who we were with. I remember standing two feet away from Rob Matrious. I remember it all.

Listening to “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem brings me back to sitting in the front seat of the car with my mom and Nick. It was in Warroad by the beach. And she told us that we better never EVER talk to her or treat her that way. That way that Mr. Mathers talked about his mom. I remember when I first heard “Without Me” at my aunt Angie’s when she had that office/scrapbooking/reading room. There was a door leading out to the backyard and the river.

Hearing the Marilyn Monroe version of “Happy Birthday” brings me back to the earliest memories of my uncle Troy singing it to me in person. For years, he’s called me on the phone. For years!  But before that, when I was in young, it was in person. Maybe it was only once, I don’t know. But I remember it.

Music brings me back. I couldn’t imagine hearing a song from the past and not connecting it to something. Even the most absurd of songs; “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix A Lot,” it brings me back to the Roseau lunch room. Kristi, Alyssa, and I were sitting at a round table in the middle of the room and Kristi would recite the song word for word. She was wearing one of those velour t-shirts when they were cool.

Everything, everything can be brought back by a song, a lyric, or a beat. Can’t it?