By Vivaan Dobberstein
Remember. Remember when you first met your brother or sister, your first day of school, your first day driving a car. Now imagine all of that just vanished. All of your memories, all of your experiences in life, the name of your father, your brother, your spouse, your kids. All gone. Alzheimer’s. This is the disease that more than 5 million Americans live with on a day to day basis. A number that is ever rising. A disease that affects one’s memory, thinking, and behavior. However, it’s not only Alzheimer’s. Dementia, this is another disease that affects one’s memory thinking and behavior. Both of these effect around 50 million people on a day to day basis. Both Alzheimer’s and Dementia, are horrible diseases which can turn a whole families life around in an instant.
As someone who has witnessed and experienced the second-hand horrors of losing memories, of special people in my life, I can tell you a story. My Grandmother was a sufferer from Alzheimer’s. She, unfortunately, passed away, early this year. During the time I knew her I didn’t cherish the moments. Those small moments, the moments filled with the tears the intimate conversations, I just put them aside as just another tear, or just another old person telling me what to do. I hate myself for it. I think that those small moments are what makes other moments perfect.
Cherish the moments we have, with our loved ones, with the people we care about the most. We live in a world where we get caught up in the moment – a funny dog video on the internet, someone falling into some mud. We forget things, we forget the small moments that we have with the people around us. We forget the small moments.
Even though you may not feel it, the little moments we experience, are checkpoints in our life, they create a path for us to follow. Our lives aren’t empty jars to fill with memories anymore, our life is a jar full of memories, where we pick and choose the relevant memories. When your sibling was born, when you graduated from high school, to engagements, and to weddings. We choose these moments because we cherish them the most because we can put a date on the calendar to remember.
Yet, the moments in between these big momentous occasions, the little moments, it’s in these moments that we get older, that we mature as a person, yet time and time again, we put these moments aside, as just another day.
One may be asking themselves right now, Why am I reading this? What use does this have in my life? Who cares about small moments? Well, ultimately, we all die, and our parents, unfortunately, will pass away at some point in our lives, if you don’t cherish these little moments, you will hate yourself, you will fight yourself thinking about a perfect moment, the one moment that will come to your head, when you had an intimate conversation with your mother, about life, and the difficulties one might face. When your dad helped you ride your first bicycle, all small moments, are momentous occasions in our lives. Even though we may not feel it, these are the moments that make us, that create us, that shape us.
This is what I’m saying, we need to cherish those small moments because a disease like Dementia or Alzheimer’s can arrive at one’s doorstep without them even knowing.
- Dementia.” Global Issues in Context Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CP3208520489/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=26ddcae2. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018.
- World Health Organization. “Dementia: A Public Health Priority: Executive Summary.” The Aging Population, edited by Margaret Haerens, Greenhaven Press, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010575251/OVIC?u=60iskl&xid=5d5c21f6. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018. Originally published in vol. 2, 2012.