“Okay, Dad,” Rebecca Swann said to Ray Bentley as she showed him old photographs, this one her late mother and Ray’s wife of fifty years, “who’s this woman?”
“I dunno, I can’t make it out and I don’t remember anyway,” Ray said with a toss of his hand, tuning toward the wall of the nursing home’s common room.
“It’s Mom, Dad, don’t you remember?” Rebecca said and put the photo back into the pile of Ray’s black and white forgotten memories.
Rebecca saw a small group enter the common room, touring the facility as a potential home for the elderly woman toddling along with her walker, when she heard her father take two deep sniffs, saw him turn, and watched him beam as he blurted out, “Helen?”
The elderly woman brought her disheartened gaze up from the floor and saw not an 78-year-old man seated at the table in front of her, but rather the 19-year-old who had given her the brand of perfume she wore for the past forty-eight years, the one called Unforgettable, and she smiled a teary smile, broke away from her children, crying “Ray!”
As someone whose certain memories seem to be sifting away more each day, I was moved by Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word FORGOTTEN to express the power certain crazy stimulants have on memories you would think long lost. I love how that works.