They Say the First Thing to Go is…..
I believe that simple memory loss, as we age, can be a comforting thing. After misplacing things, while looking for them I’ve found items I hadn’t thought of in years.
Sometimes, all that’s needed to remember, is a kick-start. I looked for a remote for about a month. Looking in our junk drawer, I found something that brought back many memories.
It’s a gadget used to count golf strokes. It has ten little balls with holes in them that slide down elastic, one for each stroke, and ten usually wasn’t enough for me.
I thought about why I started playing golf. My husband, Don, loved the game. So much so, that he spent all his free time at the course. I resented that, so I asked him if he’d teach me to play. He thought it was a great idea.
At first, it was frustrating. Half the time I couldn’t hit the ball. Don would say, “Keep your head down.” I got so sick of hearing it; I almost wrapped my nine-iron around his neck. The next problem was-lunging. “You’re lunging at the ball.” He’d say over and over. I told him that saying that constantly was not helping. He patiently bit his tongue.
Our hometown had a nine-hole course. We played 18 holes on weekends and often nine after work. We played so much I became the treasurer of the course so we could play free. I was bad, but my husband’s patience, and the fact that we are best friends, helped me learn. Before long, I improved and the game became more fun.
The reason I had the counter is, I can’t count. Actually, I couldn’t remember to count. Counting strokes honestly, is important. A miscount is always in your favor, (in my case unintentional). Miscounters, intentional or not, are called “sandbaggers” or worse, cheats. Seeing this gadget in a golf shop, I hoped it would solve my problem, if I could remember to use it.
Thinking about where I bought it, returned me to an island we had moved to. With five championship golf courses, I really needed more than ten balls. Compared to those courses, our little ‘muni” was a miniature golf course. But we were able to play year ‘round.
We played there for twelve years. Then Don injured his neck, requiring surgery. The last year we didn’t play at all. I could’ve, but the reason I started was because we could play together. I didn’t have the heart for it without him. We have returned to the States, and have played occasionally but it’s not comfortable for him and no longer fun.
Returning the counter to the drawer, I realized I had learned something from this experience. If I hadn’t forgotten where I put that remote, I wouldn’t have come across the stroke counter. I may of never had those memories again.
I believe that would have been the real loss.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.