Closing out World Alzheimer’s Month—a few observations on memory

September 29 | 2020

Pictured here are my maternal grandparents, Rose and Maurice, during their carefree period of courtship before the Great Depression. As detailed in my recent memoir, The Smallest Objective, this phase of life—late adolescence to young adulthood—tends to be the one we recall most vividly in our later years. But when my grandparents revisited this photo, what did they themselves remember? The giddiness of young love, or the economic collapse that forever compromised their future? All of us are subject to memory loss, gaps, and modifications in how we recall specific events. In this way, the shortcomings in memory common to people with dementia are more familiar than we might like to acknowledge.