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Memory Loss and the Power of Prayer

In the months of sharing fears about dementia, a ray of hope.

Edward Grinnan and Gracie
Credit: Katye Martens Brier

I didn’t know that I was a genius. 

A friend sent me an article claiming that folks with superior intelligence tend to be forgetful, which conjures up the cliché of the absentminded professor, all those stories about Einstein’s mismatched socks. The study the article referred to was pretty flimsy in terms of actual science, and I think my friend was gently needling me about all my fretting over memory issues of late. 

In any event I can list the things that would qualify me as a genius just from today according to the study:

1)  Returning a seasoning to its proper place I opened the dishwasher instead of the adjacent spice cabinet. What?

2)  Later I put an empty egg carton back in the refrigerator. Why?

3)  Driving to Beartown Forest in the Berkshires with Gracie to hike the Wildcat Trail, I completely forgot to stop and dump the garbage and recyclables at our town transfer station that I’d earlier loaded into back of the Jeep. Yuck!

4)  Halfway up the trail I worried if I’d applied the Jeep’s parking brake having left it on a fairly precarious incline, the uncertainty ruining the rest of the hike. Really?

5)  On the way home I totally forgot to pick up a promised 12-pack of Diet Coke for Julee. Yikes!

These are just five qualifications for genius-hood from today. There were more. The article my friend sent suggested that absentminded or forgetful people tend to have more important or weightier matters on their mind that eclipse the mundane, and it’s true that my mind is often not exclusively on the thing that I’m doing, especially if it’s routine. Plus, I’m an inveterate multi-tasker, problematic for sure if your memory is slipping. 

Here’s the thing I wanted to tell you. In these past few months when I have been sharing my worries about memory loss and a family history of dementia, I believe my memory has gotten better. Maybe it’s all those supplements I gobble. But I think it’s the prayers you are all saying for me that’s really helping, prayers I will not forget to say for you, for we are all in the mind of the Lord. It’s easy to forget what you are doing in the midst of praying for others. 

Tell me about some of the things you find yourself forgetting and how those lapses make you feel by writing me here. And remember, the dried basil doesn’t belong in the dishwasher, genius.

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