Skip to main content

Day 365. in which we remember what we have written.

For many years, I mocked my father for the trail of enigmatic notes that littered our home. They never made much sense to me so it was easy for me to poke fun at them. But the older I become, the more I appreciate how genius this truly was. His notes were obviously a part of his master plan to overcome his memory loss. Written in his own hand, he was not required to rely on his degrading memory. He would remember anything - and everything - by writing a note about it which he could simply refer to later. Who needs a memory with a trail of documentation?

I think this one may be my favorite - a typical Bob Brown grocery list. Guinness Stout and Scotch tape. He wrote this one shortly after he moved in with us - hence, our address on it as well.

Dad used to walk up to Rite Aide in Cambridge every day, when he was still able, and alternately purchase rubber bands, paper clips, and scotch tape. A cashier told me this one day when I was with him, and Barbara confirmed he had an ever-growing collection of these items. Apparently, one thing he appreciated perhaps as much as notes were items that would keep his notes intact.

Often, he'd wrap his business cards and index cards full of notes in a rubber band, keeping them always in his front shirt pocket. He also had his cell phone wrapped up in a sock and secured tightly with a rubber band. No one could ever get a hold of him but he didn't want it to get scratched up. This was a bit nerve-wracking when he still had a license...

And, of course, no master plan would be complete without the threat of death. The one thing about Dad's notes is they often involved threats of bodily harm. After all, notes are only useful if you can find them...