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The Gifted Memory Of A Spouse

It may seem a bit morbid, but I regularly scan the Obituary page(s) of the daily paper.  Sometimes I know someone has died, and I watch for their notice.  I consider it as part of my "they have moved on, but I'll still look for them" vigilance.  Other times it can be a surprise to find an announcement of someone I may have known, whether I knew them well or not.  It can be intriguing to read how the life of a loved one is distilled and shared with the world.  During my time at GHBC, as some residents have slipped this earthly realm to join the heavenly host of angels, I have looked for their notices.

Today, there was a obituary of a man whose wife had spoken to our CPE group about being a caregiver to her husband.  I remember she was brave and compassionate, so steadfast in her care for him, but sensitive to her own needs also.  She shed some tears in the sharing, and we cried with her.  Reading this summation of his life, knowing he had been afflicted with Alzheimer's for the last decade+ of his life, I sensed that much of what I read was her memory of him.  For him.  It is that gifted memory of a spouse.  I learned a lot about him, and the mark he made on this world while he was in it.  I thank her for remembering and sharing him with us.    

Last night, NBC had a report on differences about Memory and Emotions between men and women.  I've learned some through my CPE experience, and had it confirmed by growing research on the brain, that men are 'fact-of-the-matter story-tellers' and women are 'here's the whole story feeling keepers'.  It seems that men save memories on the side of the brain where the emotion(s) can be separated from details, and women store memories on the other side of the brain where they integrate both their feelings and memories together.  Yeah, I definitely see that now.

Chrissie is certainly the institutional memory in our family.  I had long since thought it was due to my limited gray matter, and its scant capabilities.  It turns out it is more fundamental than that.  It's because I'm a guy.  Figures.  But I am so thankful for the gifted memory of my spouse.  This is just one more in a long, long list of gifts I benefit from.  I continue to give you thanks and praise, O God Almighty, for the heart of my hearts and her presence in my life.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
"certainly the institutional memory in our family"
Great, no pressure.....

thank you my beloved!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )