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.





  1. I get inspired about life in general and mine in particular by going back often to Viktor Frankl. I quote and I hope that you will get inspired too.

    “…..the opportunities to act properly, the potentialities to fulfill a meaning, are affected by the irreversibility of our lives. But also the potentialities alone are so affected. For as soon as we have used an opportunity and have actualized a potential meaning, we have done so once and for all. We have rescued it into the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured. To be sure, people tend to see only the stubble field of transitoriness but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past into which they brought the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity.

    From this one may see that there is no reason to pity old people. Instead, young people should envy them. It is true that the old have no opportunities, no possibilities in the future. But they have more than that. Instead of possibilities in the future, they have realities in the past – the potentialities that they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled, the values they have realized – and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.”


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