Not Remembering

My grandson a few days ago was at the kitchen counter talking to Deborah, his aunt.  Brayden began the conversation by saying, “Grandpa, no I mean Parker, Victoria, Carter, Grandma Nay Nay, no I mean Keaton, no wait, wait, wait (as he got off the stool and with his hands began pushing out as he was backing up), I mean Debi?”  He stopped and then said to Debi that he was imitating Grandma Nay-Nay.


I hated it when my grandma Gorton did the same thing when she was talking with me and had to go thru the alphabet of family names in order to get the right person–me.  I didn’t like it then, but have found myself like my wife having difficulty not remembering my kids or my grandkids names at certain moments.  This problem goes deeper though with me.

I go through the house trying to remember where I left my sun glasses or keys or both.  There several places that I look first, but my normal response to my forgetfulness is to ask my wife Nadine who most of the time knows where I left them.  I have gotten over the tendency to blame her for the misplacement–my misplacement and forgetfulness.  If only I could place those important pieces in the same place every time I come into the home.  The problem would be solved, but that would be too easy.  I do think it makes Nadine feel important when I ask her where things are, but I’m probably giving it too much value as she responds with annoyance which is how most partners respond.

This not remembering has taken other forms when I interact with other people.  I begin to tell a story of a past experience and explain the intricacies of the events.  As I am explaining the story, my mind begins to remember things that I was leaving out which changes the story.  It reminds me of a passage that Paul wrote as he was telling a story to the Corinthian people.  “I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)”‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As he was telling the story, he didn’t remember certain aspects of who he had baptized, but as the story began to unfold, he began to remember others who had been baptized by him.  He finished the story by covering himself by saying, “I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.”

It was after writing this jlog that I wanted Victoria, Brayden’s mother, to read what I had written.  When she answered the phone, I couldn’t remember why I had called.  I knew that I wanted to tell her something, but I completely forgot what it was that I wanted to tell her.  After talking for a few minutes on the phone, I remembered to tell her to read the jlog entitled Not remembering.  I guess I have this problem more than I thought.

On this journey there will be times as we go along where be become forgetful of the events of the past.  Those pieces of information are not nearly as important as recognizing that we will forget and not remember.  Recognizing our inadequacies is an important process of seeing our weaknesses and continuing to move forward into the future.  The stuff we forget isn’t nearly as important as the people we connect with.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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