Inherited Forgetfulness

My mom was really good at forgetting things. Super good at it. In another sense she was good at remembering things falsely.

She frequently lost her purse. Or glasses. Or keys. She never remembered her passwords. Ever. Even with a password keeper on her phone it caused her an insane amount of stress. She also struggled to comprehend financial life planning – unemployment, retirement, social security, etc. She benefitted from hearing things seven or eight times. And she was always confused about Daylight Savings Time. Seriously, every six months we had to revisit which way the clocks should change.

As for me… I have inherited this forgetfulness and today was a prime example.

Today is the last day of school and I am proud to say that James and I biked to and from school together and Miles not only is NOT flunking his classes, but he has no D’s either (a pretty huge accomplishment for an indifferent teenager). Our deal was that if Miles finished the semester with A’s, B’s and maybe a couple C’s, we would reward him with a PS4.

After eating lunch, I took him to get this said PS4. We spent a long time looking at games and chatting it up with the kind GameStop lady.

Then came the purchase.

And my card was nowhere to be found…

Now, if you know me, you know that my purse can be an endless abyss of stuff – kleenex, blocks, pens, socks, snacks, papers… I could probably pull a Mary Poppins lamp out of there one of these days. So, I went to my car and frantically pulled all this crap out of my purse to look through all the places it might hide. It wasn’t there.

I searched the glove box, the console, the floor, my work bag… and over again. It wasn’t there.

Feeling embarrassed and frustrated with myself, I went back into the store to announce that we could not purchase it because I did not have my card. She agreed to hold them for us until we got back. James and Miles were a bit disappointed – but this is not the first time I have gone to purchase something and not had my card…

We arrived at home and I promptly searched all the regular places: jean pockets, bathroom drawer, bedside drawer, kitchen drawer, really all the damn drawers in the house. Then I re-searched my car. No luck. I took everything out of my purse – all the kleenex, piles of papers, old receipts, a container of granola, a used spoon, and six pairs of socks. The card was nowhere to be found. Miles supported my search and helped me search my car for a THIRD time. It wasn’t there.

Feeling defeated, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down. In my purse search I found two Target gift cards (score!) and started calling to see if there was anything left of them. Finding myself 15 dollars richer, I opened my wallet to put them in.

And there it was.

Staring at me.


My card.

It was there in my wallet all along. I had looked. I had shuffled papers around to see. But in my flurry of mom-ness, I missed it.

Silently I held it up and showed Miles. We had a good laugh about finding it in my wallet and of all the bizarre contents of my purse. And now we’ll head back to reclaim our purchase. And I will make sure I have my card before we leave the house.

This experience happens more often than I would like to admit. And I would always call my mom and share these details. She knew what this was like – the frustration of having lost something or not understanding something, the embarrassment that accompanies it, and also the humor that follows.

I love all the things I took from my mom – except for this trait. But now it holds a special meaning. I get to roll my eyes at myself for my forgetfulness and think about all the humor my mom added to my life because of hers.

Thanks mama, for my inherited forgetfulness.


I dreamed about my mom last night.

I had a work meeting in the hospital and she was in an ICU room there. And yes – I had forgotten my pants because that’s what dreams do. I was running back and forth from the meeting to visit my mom, then to text my family to update them on her status.

In my dream she died. Multiple times. And the doctors brought her back to life – and not her groggy, low hemoglobin life, but her vibrant, funny, big smile life. Each time she would tell me how glad she was to be alive.

And then she would die again. And then she would be up and smiling again. Over and over as I was running pantsless to meetings.

At one point I told her I was so glad she was alive so we could take one last picture together. I then spent the rest of my dream looking for a good background for the photo. I don’t remember ever getting to take the photo in my dream, but I do remember looking around for things that she loved to be the backdrop.

A budding tree

A cloud-filled sky

Birds flying overhead

Tulips emerging in the garden

Then I woke up. I got myself dressed – happy to say I remembered my pants – to go work out with my sister. As soon as I got out of my car I embraced her and started crying. We cried together for a minute about mom. About feeling there are still lingering “this is the last thing…” moments. About missing her dearly.

She is lingering with me today and that may just be how today goes. A little melancholy as I move through this day looking for things my mom loves. Luckily it is Spring, so there is an abundance of budding trees, cloud-filled skies, birds flying overhead, and tulips emerging from the garden.