intangible keepsake

3 May

Memories are our recollection of past events. Memories make us smile, they make us cry, they make us cringe in embarrassment upon remembering. As intangible as they are, memories are one of the things that we hold dear to us. Sometimes it is the opposite though—you don’t want to remember so you wish to just get rid of it for good. We go through life using our brains; storing pieces of information (be it necessary or unnecessary) for school, work, leisure—just life in general. Memories are the things that no one can touch or see. In a sense, a memory is one of those “the best things in life are for free” things. Well, that’s completely subjective on which recollection we’re referring to, but there’s bound to be at least one or two that each person treasures. It would be a shame to forget such things. Especially if forgetting is caused by an illness. Some illnesses out there are known to have an effect on the brain, which can cause people to forget. I would say Alzheimer’s disease would be the worst and possibly the scariest one of them all. I am a forgetful person, but I am very fond of the good memories I manage to retain. That, and the people I share them with as well, which is why I find it scary to forget. Not only forgetting, but the fact that Alzheimer’s disease will ultimately lead to the end is another contributing factor.

You start to forget things, and eventually people. Your behavior starts to change due to the damage the sickness is doing to your brain. It might not matter to you anymore since you might have forgotten them already, but sometimes the people you cared for do not wish to stick around when your behavior has changed—maybe it’s inconvenient for them, maybe they are hurt because you forgot, or maybe it’s something else. Really, it’s a sad way to go.

There was a movie about Alzheimer’s disease. Well, not about it, per se, but someone who has it. I’m sure many are familiar with the novel-turned-movie “The Notebook.” A touching story about a couple, one of them having said disease. It was painful to watch the struggles of the old man as he tries to constantly remind his partner about him. They both pass away in the end—together. A bittersweet ending, if you ask me. But that’s just in the movies. What about real life? Reality isn’t as sweet as what the silver screen depicts.

By far there have been no cures for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are ways of preventing said disease from happening. The secret is in the food that you eat and the lifestyle that you lead. Just keep yourself active, keep your brain active, and have a healthy diet—the basics, pretty much. So the moral of the story here: eat right, live right, always do your homework (to keep your mind on the go), and stay away from drugs.

– Mishi Lim

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