Friday, 6 August 2010

She remembers nothing. She does not remember who she is, that she had daughter, lovely neighbours, a church to belong. She does not remember anything. She has lost her memory.

Can you read something from my bible?-she asked when I visited her at the hospital.

I read Psalm 23. “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters...” As I read, she closed her eyes and put her hands together in attitude of prayer. She looks at peace.
Do you remember that you are quite good at drawing?
Am I? She looks surprised.

I promised her that I would talk to her doctor if they can provide her with some paper and pens. She smiles. She looks happy.
Tomorrow she would not remember what happened today, or what I said.
They have done all kind of tests and the doctors are clueless. They do not know why she had blocked her memories; shut down...It is like a defence mechanism. The Doctor said.
It makes sense. Memories can make our life hell.

The wife of my vicar once told me how the memories of her dad about the holocaust were becoming more vivid and disturbing, as he grew fragile and old. Is time cure for the memories?
Before the end of my father’s life, his memories of his mother become more alive. He will ask my mum if his mum really love him. Despise the reassurances he never seem convinced. Bad memories stayed with him. How many people I have meet who are tormented by tragic memories. Who have not been able to make peace with their past. As a priest, I can only be companion and walk with people as they go through their unresolved past and painful memories...I can read with them
“Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”

I remember a preacher who once he said this:

“When I am old and fragile I would like to spend my days sitting in a rocking chair in the porch of my house, seeing life passing by and then I would close my eyes and remember my life. How God have been gracious to me, my family, my ministry...I would recall all those precious moments...all that memories. I live today in a way that I am accumulating good memories for that time. They will be my treasure.”

This story stayed with me. It has become a memory I would like to aspire.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

To see the series
The Prophet / Wondering Jew
follow the link

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