Last night was a bad night. Well… up until about 8:45, it was a good night, but after that it took a decided downward turn. I spent an hour sobbing, sniffling, and nearly tearing my altar apart.
It all started with this:
Your dad has been asleep for a half hour now…..I am going to bed now,,,,,I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that your dad didn’t hear from either of his children on his bday…
Oh no. Oh NO.
My dad’s birthday is December 5th. It has been December 5th every year for 59 years. But somehow, this year, I thought it was December 10th – the birthday of an old boyfriend. I mixed it up badly, and didn’t call, and the message above is what I got from my stepmother around 8:45 last night.
My memory has been getting progressively worse over the past decade or so. I had lost almost all memory of my childhood by my teens, which I blamed on childhood surgery. By the time I hit 20, I had lost a number of details about my teens and had started losing some of the words that had once made me a walking thesaurus. I am now 27, and certain details continue to disappear. Things Kit tells me; things my kids tell me; things my parents and friends tell me. What I did last week, last month, last year. What I wore yesterday. I lose all recollection of them. And now this.
It’s been a nagging concern, growing as time goes by. My paternal grandfather started taking medication for his memory in his late 60s, and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, passing away in 2008 with a lot of his memory and personality blessedly intact. He was lucky. I’ve heard the horror stories of others, and am terrified of losing my own memory. Whether there is something actually wrong or fear, inattention, or stress are causing holes in my memory, I don’t know. But last night the fear hit me full-force.
I blamed Him.
He put me on this path. He has me distracted. I’m so worried about pleasing and serving Him and passing His Ordeal that I’m forgetting everything else that’s important. I’m so busy with His Work that I mixed up Dad’s birthday. It’s all His fault.
I was angry. I was tempted to grab the porcelain pendant I’m wearing during my training and shatter it against the slate slab that is my altar. I glared angrily at His representation, almost fell asleep without doing any of the things I am supposed to – brushing teeth, washing face, sitting and talking with Him.
I did get up. I did brush and wash and take down my hair. And then I took my seat.
It hurt. It hurt more than it ever has. The muscles in my right knee and ankle screamed almost immediately, and it took every ounce of control I had not to spring right out of my seat just to ease the pain.
You stay, was the instruction I heard, sharper than usual. The pain was so bad I started to cry again.
Then came the strike.
I felt it across my shoulder blades, like a dog being cuffed. Painful below the skin, and repeated more than once. Don’t move! Eyes closed! His voice was angry in my head. I couldn’t tell you precisely what else He said, but it was sharp and loud, and I cried in disappointment. He finally let me out of my seat, and I slumped unhappily as His voice continued.
Now go to bed and wake up in a better mood, He said to me at last. I got up slowly, barely coming to my feet before crawling into bed.
In my pain and disappointment with myself, I blamed Him. It was easy to blame Him, convenient to do so. It was never His fault; the problem started long before this began. He is justified in resenting and rejecting the blame, because the responsibility lies with me.
I called Dad this morning. Our conversation had to be short – I was on my way to work and he was already at the office. I apologized, told him I had mixed up, and wished him a happy belated birthday. I don’t know if this will fix the damage, because it’s not the first time something like this has happened. But all I can do now is try… and talk to the doctor about my fears when I see her this week. And stop placing blame – on Him and on me – because it does nothing to fix what’s wrong.