Sharing the Wrong Story

For 27 years I’ve had it in my head that my mom was 54 years old when she died. Yesterday, I found out I’ve remembered it wrong all these years; she was really 55. (She turned 55 just 7 weeks prior to her death.) I can’t figure out how I managed to remember this incorrectly from the beginning. I’ve always known she was born in 1936 yet, never once since her passing, did I ever do the math and realize my mistake.

Since discovering this error yesterday afternoon, I keep thinking how odd it is to be believing and sharing the wrong “story” all these years. I know it’s a “small” shift from the other narrative I’ve been sharing… but it still feels strange to me.

For 27 years, whenever I’ve spoken or written about my mom’s passing, I’ve always shared the “My mom was 54 years old when she died…” part of the story. That number has been etched into my heart and into my head. My lips have formed that number and my fingers have typed that number for nearly three decades. Now, at 46 (and yes, I just had to stop and do the how old am I? math to make sure 😉 ) I will be telling a different story.

I guess this just has me thinking about other subtle ways we may be remembering or believing less than accurate narratives. Our minds and hearts are so finite and so prone to error. The truth was always right there for me to know. It was hiding in plain sight; I simply hadn’t take the time to uncover it.

Truth: My mom was 55 years old when she died…

That’s going to take awhile to get used to saying, writing, and believing.

2 thoughts on “Sharing the Wrong Story

  1. Teresa Bak

    I found out through research that my mom was 3 years older than she claimed, making her 3 years older than dadddy. I guess it wasn’t proper back in the day to be married to an older woman.
    Our Memeories stay so close in our hearts and minds.
    Your mom’s last birthday may not have stayed with you because she was so ill at the time.
    God Bless You All as you visit your Childhood Places.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Very interesting, Teresa. My mom used to tell me how it wasn’t considered proper back then that she was 4 years older than my dad. I think her mom (my grandma) even tried to convince her to lie about her age but she didn’t want to. Times were definitely different! We are having a good vacation. Hope to take some great pictures to share today.


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