“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Visiting has become harder as his memory slips away. First short-term memory faded, and then long-term memory followed, and finally my name has joined that list of items just beyond his cerebral grasp. His warm smile recognizes my face, but he cannot seem to locate that small memory of my name.

Then all of a sudden it hit me: what if that's me one day?

I cannot stop my genetics, and the thought of losing my memory leads to depression and anger. Anger turns to acceptance and I find myself feeling grateful. I'm grateful for this small glimpse into my future, and the chance to reevaluate my choices. The prospect of losing my memory in the twilight of my life makes me more appreciative of forming those memories now. My life has felt consumed with preparation for later, and my never-ending quest for professional achievement. Work hard now. Save money now.

Those familiar tenets feel less compelling when faced with the prospect that later might hold less value than I had hoped. One memory I'm determined to keep is the important lesson I took away from that brief interaction, and how it gave me the resolve to learn to let go.

— Daniella Yacobovsky