Memory of Eddie

by Edward Perry


I was raised by my grandparents. When I was 13 my grandfather Eddie started his 10 year descent into Alzheimer’s. Over the course of that decade the memory of his character before the illness blurred with whom I was living. I was losing more than a loved one, I was losing how I perceived him.

For his funeral I put together a collage of photos of him that spanned his 97 years. Sorting through each photo I relived his life and got to know him through memories he couldn’t share. Then I came across a photo I took of him when I was eight. He was in mid motion taking a toothpick from his mouth (He loved toothpicks). His classic straw fedora hat was tilted to the side. There was an orange glow to his face and it brought him back to life in my memory.

Despite how advanced his condition had become, he never forgot who I was. He always recognized me as his “Niño”. For this I am forever grateful. Even when I had a hard time remembering who he was, he never lost memory of me.