Overall, I agree with what Ms. Angelou wrote. Yet this quote stayed with me yesterday into today trying to wrap my thoughts around a part of it I didn’t fully agree. Working with people in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, I have witnessed that these individuals may not remember you tomorrow, never mind in a few hours, but they do remember how you treated them. Be mindful of how you treat those around you, your loved ones, your friends, because the essence of your interactions stays with them.
As I begin my journey to document the stories and histories of others, I notice that former patients’ names that have stayed with me for so long are starting to disappear from my recall. I can’t recall every detail of stories they’ve told me but portions remain. Especially the words shared that led to discoveries within myself. The words ARE still there. Maybe to be paraphrased versus confidently quoted verbatim – but they are still within me. I feel words that affected you strongly in either a positive or negative manner can stay present for a long time. And maybe that’s just it…the words also lead to the feelings brought about within you. They are symbiotic. The words, the actions, the result of a feeling. They are all essential. These are my thoughts and my experience so far. Ms. Angelou had her own which was her truth. If her goal was to have people ponder on her words (interestingly enough) then she succeeded with me. Thank you, mam.