“Some days are better than others, this is true for us all. We can’t be expected to remember everything we know.”—Smith
I sit looking into the eyes of three Villa residents. All members of the Memory Care Center. Their eyes are full of many emotions. In some I see boredom, others confusion, even some eagerness and fear.
Each has a story to tell. Each story is different.
They know where they are from, where their spouse is from, how many children they have, the names of the children, the names of grandchildren. They know how they met their significant other, hardships they have faced throughout their lives, and how old they are. They know all of these things, but they can’t always remember them.
As we begin to talk, I can tell one or two are reluctant to be here. Whether that is here talking with us, or here in the Villa, is hard to tell. We ask questions about where they are from. Our answers consist of mostly Kansas area and Indiana. They ask us the same question, “Now, where are you from?” We go around and tell them all: Goshen, Indiana; Beloit, Kansas; Broomfield, Colorado. This strikes a memory in one of the members brain. Not much, but enough to start a story.
“Oh Colorado, I know that place well. My wife and I used to hike all over the Rocky Mountains. We would have such a good time. Holding hands the whole way. You know, to keep each other from falling,” says one resident.
It’s not much, but it’s all he can remember at the time. He knows the rest of the story, just not right now.
As the weeks go on, little by little, the Villa members can remember more of their stories, more of their lives. Two weeks after the former memory, the same man remembers that he is actually from Indiana, but he visited Colorado often. He remembers that, after he and his wife had children, they took their children with them on the hikes through the mountains. He remembers that they were so young and full of energy. They would run up, far in front of him and his wife, and have such a good time.
He can’t remember everything, but it is enough. He will remember more next week.
“Some days are better than others, this is true for us all. We can’t be expected to remember everything we know.” (Smith).