Lately, whether I’ve been feeling sorrow at the huge holes in parts of my life or the fact I’ll be 60 this year, I’ve thought, off and on again, about the likelihood of my being remembered when I am gone. I’ve moved about 15 times in my life. Most I knew have forgotten me, of that I am sure, even when I have not them.
I have lived alone for the past 20 years and am a private person. Who will remember me? With a gentle spirit, one who doesn’t waves, do I have a presence? Does a pond, clear as glass, with nary a ripple to mar it’s surface, have a presence? Unless the fishing is really great, will others choose
We all want to think we have made a difference in those we knew and hence, the world, in ever expanding ripples. My mother was a fiercesome, generous, loving, gregarious woman whose death filled our large church. My Dad,a quiet,gentle soul, had fewer people even though he had been a beloved pastor there in years back. My mother died at her desk of a massive heart attack. Believe me, she could give people heart attacks, me so on a regular basis. But she was also generous, pro-active, and a self-starter who created her own businesses, one of which still runs through my sister. My Dad drifted away into demensia for the last 12 or so years of his life, loosing his presence word by word – a sin for such a smart, wise person. But who do you think I have thought so much more of? The person I had the most issues to work through … Mother.
My children are fabulous people who have been achieving successful, happy, fulfilling lives. But it is their Father they will remember more. Not only is he nearby, but he can do the most for them. I love them with every breathe I take but in the end, it won’t matter. I am the passive pond, 3,000 miles away, with nothing to leave them when I go.
There is no real end to this piece. Only the future can answer these questions. A homeless, mentally impaired, nonviolent person will likely be forgotten before he even dies. I’ve worked with the elderly, in these later years, within Memory Care units and I can tell you, most of them are obligatory marks to be checked off the calendar on certain holidays or birthdays. And many have been warehoused there and forgotten. Nursing homes are even worse. People can be mere chattel there.
I once knew a wonderful woman who died at 104. She lived in my mother’s residential home for the elderly. Her many progeny lived all over the valley she lived in. In the years I knew her, I knew of 2 people who visited, extremely rarely. That was over a 17 year period. She was gentle, Godly, and kind .. . and forgotten. Another woman I knew had been placed in a mental hospital with a nervous breakdown. Her husband died, she couldn’t be released unless to family but all her family was in Sweden. Although fully lucid, gentle, Godly, she was forgotten in a ward of 40 women – all stark raving lunatics and forgotten as well.
So in the end, are we forgotten? Most of us, yes. The detestable or the famous ones who created much good in the world, theirs are the lives which will go on with a resounding ring. We push our heads out of the earth, blossom, and provide our smell and beauty. And then die. But, like a single blossom, quickly forgotten. I guess the world and its people must always be future facing for our race and the world to continue. So cheers to the forgotten ones. May many blossoms grow where they lie. https://TheCommons.wordpress.com/writeanythingwednesdays