Names. Places. List items. Great lines from movies or books. The plot of a favorite TV series episode. Political bulletins. Even good gossip. Everything these days scoots about my mind, often quickly disappearing from view like mice. My mind suddenly goes blank. The present takes a vacation somewhere near Aruba. I am void.
I grow determined. I plot on how I will catch the mice. I will bait them with memorization and careful review. I will trap them in a mind kept agile by cross word puzzles and ample reading. I will poison them with the curse of cue cards carried in my pocket.
We have nametags at church now. It is such a blessing. Is there anything worse than a pastor, a supposed gourmet chef of intimacy, who searches a face hopelessly for some sign of recognition. Referring to you with that oh so precious and ugly “oh you”.
We always know when someone doesn’t have a clue who we are. It is written on their face, and in the stilted awkward language they are now speaking. As I age, I find this mice infestation to be terrifying. I try to tell myself it is normal. Mice come in out of the cold. Minds become Swiss cheese as the years’ pass. Still, it is an anxiety ridden reality.
Mice don’t give me the “willies” anymore. I don’t find them repulsive. I try to think of them as cute little baby squirrels. But when I find their droppings in my kitchen drawers, I want to puke. Just like what I feel when I forget the name of a friend I have known for decades, or when a sermon veers hopelessly off course, or I can’t relocate the point I was trying to make.
Oh well. Mice. We all have them at some point. Scurrying in and out of holes and cracks in our aging minds. Just pray for a good week. Only one or two sightings, and no droppings.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.