Friday, November 8, 2013

Memory Loss, Love Lost

I get so frustrated by TV shows or movies that deal with relationships that go sour.  I got sucked into a movie this afternoon which I don't know the name of nor even who the actors were, but dealt with a married couple where the wife lost her memory and didn't remember her husband, didn't remember their life together, didn't remember anything that happened in her life after her college years.  The husband was heartbroken that she didn't remember him, and she was upset that he couldn't understand why she didn't love him since she didn't know him, as far as she knew.  As the movie unfolded, I became more and more frustrated over how miserable the husband was becoming over the situation, yet the wife was perfectly happy to just pick up where her memory left off.  Now, knowing Hollywood, I'm sure he ended up winning her over and they lived happily ever after, but I couldn't keep watching it and I turned it off.  It bothered me too much.  I know it's just a movie, but I was really angered, though I totally get that the director had succeeded at manipulating my feelings.

I tried to put the story's plot into real life, and how it would've felt to be the husband.  I think it would've been worse than experiencing my wife's death.  At least I knew my wife loved me.  I'm sure I would've been heartbroken, just like the husband in the movie, and I really don't know what I would do in the same situation.  Watching it, I kept thinking how much easier it would be for him to just let her go, rather than continuing to be frustrated over trying to convince her they were in love when she clearly didn't believe him, and didn't trust him at all.  He was nothing but a stranger to her.  And it was killing me to watch.

If I didn't know already that such a thing could really happen, I'd just pass it off as another typical Hollywood storyline, but I actually watched something similar happen to my aunt.  Aunt Lynn was a beautiful lady.  She was a Redskinette, one of the Washington Redskins' cheerleaders.  She ended up eloping with her boyfriend, Chuck, breaking my grandmother's heart, when she was in college.  He wasn't a very good guy.  He drank and used drugs, and though I'm not saying there's a correlation, he was in a gang that went out every weekend riding their Harleys.  They never wore helmets (there wasn't a helmet law back then).  Anyway, in July of 1981, they were all out riding (my aunt was on the back of Chuck's bike) when they hit a slick spot on the road.  Most of the bikes went down, including Chuck's.  When they did, my aunt's head hit the pavement, knocking her out.  Chuck hit his head, also, but he never lost consciousness.  Aunt Lynn was the most seriously injured.  I believe she injured her arm and leg, as well.  She was air-lifted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore in serious condition.  She was in a coma for days.  When she finally came to, she had suffered permanent brain damage.  Not so bad that she couldn't function, but bad enough that she lost much of her memory, and her behavior and maturity level were the equivalent of a high school kid.  Her personality changed, as well, and she was very hard to be around.  She couldn't have a normal conversation, and she repeated things over and over.  She was never the same.  Finally, her husband, Chuck, couldn't handle the situation anymore, and he left her, eventually divorcing her.  To this day, she is still exhibiting much of the same kind of behavior.  It really was sad, and though I can't endorse nor support Chuck's decision to divorce my aunt, I don't know that I could handle it if I was placed in the same situation.

Maybe that's why the movie frustrated me so much.  I'm so thankful that God spared me from a similar situation with my wife.  Though I would give almost anything for her to still be alive, I'm not sure I could handle it if she no longer loved or even knew me.  My definition of marriage is that it is for a lifetime, though, and I would live up to my vows, regardless.  It's just so hard to imagine what that would be like.

And on that frustratingly sad note... Have a great evening, everyone.

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