There are few enough people whose eyes light up when they see me. So if I want to brighten my day, I visit my lifelong best friend.
I picked her up the other night to take her to a concert at the local music festival. The pianist, Andre Watts, is an artist we have heard play several times with this orchestra.
“I don’t know who they are, but they’re good,” she smiled happily at me.
Her memory isn’t disappearing overnight. It is more like the erosion of a beach cliff; some large chunks have been eaten away but the structure remains intact. Her memory of our friendship may fall into that pattern. I don’t know how much of our joint history remains in her mind. I don’t ask because maybe I’m not ready to know.
I’m careful not to recall things that will make her brow furrow with worry about what she doesn’t know.
And it doesn’t matter.
It is another lesson in living in the present. I tell myself that these moments are the most important. That joy today is not dependent on memories of the past.
She won’t have to remember who I am for her face to light up when she sees me.