I know you know. It’s just whether you remember the facts or not. The thing is, I must have learned to write and then I learned to live. We kind of knew it was always going to be that way – didn’t we?
Am I getting ahead of myself? Probably. I was always getting ahead. So I’ll just start at the beginning like most people would.
I am writing you a letter from your past – from our past. I have been to the doctor and he has told me. He said it in the most matter of fact way possible. He looked out of his window, asked did I want a glass of water, then turned and said ‘you have Alzheimer’s’. I said ‘sorry’ and he said so was he, I then asked him to repeat himself. And as you know and I now know, I’ve got Alzheimer’s.
What am I like from where you are? Are you reading this, or perhaps some help has found it and is reading it to you? Or maybe they are reading it to themselves and wondering if they should read it to you.
I just wanted to write to you – well, me, the future me, a letter to say goodbye and to say I’m sorry. Was it something I did, something in my life that led us down this road of sorrow?
I wonder what went first? Did you start to forget the lovers, you and I once knew? I always was proud of myself that I could remember all their names. It was always a little exercise I did on dark days – to remember when love and life were easy. When I had enough offers to be careless with those who had said they loved me. Forgive me.
My fear is that you – well, me in the future will be talked about by strangers. They will look at me with pity and tears and forget how young and alive I once was. Please don’t let them talk about me. Please don’t let them say I am mad. I am not mad – am I’m only dying.
Something we will all do.
I remember one of my lovers said to me, that you should never judge a life by how it ends. I was alive once, I was a child, a kid, a teenager, a lover, a partner – but all of those things are dependent on being able to remember.
And my memories are being cruelly stolen, so that in the end I am nothing. More than nothing.
I am not feeling sorry for you or me, for I had a life and that is more than some souls get.
I just wanted to write and say I love you, I didn’t always love you – learning to love yourself takes a lifetime.
I hope you are happy in your dreams.
With all the love in the world,
Yourself, from all the way back here.
(bobby stevenson 2017)