I Forget | #MyFridayStory №320

Frans Nel
4 min readJan 19, 2024
Andrea Piacquadio| Pexels

Accurately recalling events — whether from earlier today, yesterday, last week, last year, or your first day of school — is an admirable quality.

Before the internet arrived, I always thought it was a special touch when people remembered the birthdays and anniversaries of their family and friends. I had a few friends whose wives were especially good at keeping records of parents’ and children’s birthdays and other significant dates. Still today, even with social media and calendar alarms on our phones and watches, I try to record significant dates so that I can personally congratulate folks on their special days.

From the time I started Sunday School until today, I’ve wished I could recite verses from the Bible. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover a few times. The pages of my Bible are filled with notes and comments in the margins and any other blank spaces I can write in. To save space, I designed a key using letters of the alphabet to signify various scenarios or observations. The key and each accompanying explanation are handwritten on a piece card. It serves as a bookmark and joins other treasured little hand-written notes and cards, maybe a bird feather, and even some pressed leaves between the pages.

Two of my favourite Bible verses are Psalm 91 and John 11:35.

Psalm 91 is a chapter with 16 verses that speak of God’s comfort and protection in the face of danger. John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. It has two words — “Jesus wept.” Jesus was comforting Lazarus’ sisters after his death and was so moved by their grief that he cried. Their significance only became noticeable to me after having referred to them many times over the years.

I was in my early 40s when my Son and I went together to get inked. I had a tattoo of a stylised cross with a thorny crown and the words “Ps. 91” on my right shoulder blade. My Son designed a cross with the word “Believe” in script writing in the centre of his back. A few years later, I had another tattoo on the opposite shoulder. A wooden cross this time with the words “John 11:35

Both tattoos were done by the same artist and must be said, are not great works of art. Not individually or even together on my back. They are each tilted at different angles and don’t sit symmetrically on my back. I am so thankful they are on my back where they can’t be seen too often. At least not by me. But regardless of their visual appeal, their significance is no less important to me.

I keep my keys, wallet, pocketknife, and phone in the same place all the time. I have a little routine I follow as I leave the house and when I leave a venue. I tap each pocket to ensure each item is safely in its place. I have a key rack at home to keep keys safe and in one place. Items such as pens, wallets, and keys I have inculcated a mental reminder to keep them close and safe.

For as far back as I can remember, I have found it nearly impossible to remember certain facts. I know that many people suffer from memory loss, whether it is short-term memory, long-term memory, or both. I have tried to understand what it is about a fact that temporarily makes it disappear from my memory, but I haven’t found anything conclusive enough to convince me of its influence. Over time, I have devised little tricks and interventions to try to alleviate the embarrassment of forgetting, but many times they fall short of helping.

I am not able to recite scripture verses and chapters. I don’t remember the 12 disciples’ names off-hand, and I need to stop to think carefully when referencing Moses and Noah so as not to get them confused! I had my two favourite Bible verses tattooed on my back lest I forget them. I use a database and calendar system to keep track of people’s birthdays and other special dates. Incorporating a habit and discipline into my routine has helped me keep track of personal possessions.

I have yet to devise a fail-proof method of remembering people’s names and I still misplace my phone and keys sometimes. Fortunately, now I’m able to blame my age without too much embarrassment.

Have a great weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading. 🙏

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