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As I woke up in the morning and maneuvered through the normal routine of preparing breakfast and packing lunch box for my son, I had totally forgotten the argument we had the night before. I forgot I had told him he’d have to wake up earlier to make his own breakfast and pack his own lunch to develop more gratitude. I woke him up with the same gentleness and morning kiss, watched him go through his fruit, walnuts and bacon wrapped scallops, drink his cup of tea, with utmost pleasure and chauffeured him to school.
On my way to work, I engaged in my usual phone calls, checking in with my friends and family back home, in Iran, and other parts of the world. Checking in with my flock of runaway fellow country-folks; immigrants of social injustice, each of them an untold story of patience and resilience. For the past month our conversations have been anxious, heated, intense and filled with despair. Assassinations, missile raids, and a mysterious plane crash that devoured lives of about fifteen hundred human beings, mostly Iranians, in a matter of a month. Mothers, daughters, husbands, sons that would never send a selfie to their loved ones again. Dreamers that vanished, taking away all they had worked hard for, with them. We were in deep grief. Increasingly insecure. Feeling more vulnerable and suspended in every breath. Today, though, we discussed the weather again. We exchanged a few words about the blooming daffodils and unseasonably early hyacinths. We had willfully or unwillingly taken the convenient pill of “ forgetfulness”.
Slipping into my professional skin as I stepped into the office, my notes reminded me of all the phone calls I had to make and emails I had to send. However, there were many more thoughts, feelings and events that I had already forgotten.
We forget. We forget how much we were loved or how deeply we were hurt. We forget the integrity we were treated with or the lies we were told. We forget justice and cruelty. We forget happy times and hard times. We forget the sacrifices we made and the gifts we received. Life has to move on.
Like every other human being, I forget as well. But I ponder on the questions:
How much did I learn, before I forgot?
How much of what I have forgotten has become the chemistry of my being, a part of my nervous system?
Is forgetfulness my blessing or my curse?