I Forgot to Remember
A Memoir of Amnesia
In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned. Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household.
Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family, however narrowly, from the near-daily threat of disaster—or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, and read and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the “normal” life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again.
In her own indelible voice, Su offers us a view from the inside of a terrible injury, with the hope that her story will help give other brain injury sufferers and their families the resolve and courage to build their lives anew. Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, this book is the true story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.
Su Meck talks about forgetting to remember
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Read an Excerpt
Life in the Fast Lane
I don’t remember any of what I’m about to tell you. Sure, I know the story, but it is just a story related to me by others, in bits and pieces, over many years. I have attempted to collect those scraps in order to present a narrative that feels real and whole. But it has been difficult. I have had to interpret the story, to picture the scenes in my mind, just as you are about to... see more
Reading Group Guide
At twenty-two, Su Meck was married with two children when a ceiling fan fell and struck her on the head. She survived the injury, but when she regained consciousness in the hospital, she didn’t know her own name, didn’t recognize a single family member or friend, couldn’t read or write or brush her teeth or use a fork—and she had no memories of her life. No one had any idea how bad her memory loss really was, and after only three weeks she was sent back into the world to raise her children and run a household, even though she had no idea how to do any of it. For more than twenty years, Su wrestled not only with questions of who she really was and who she wanted to be but how to simply get by day by day. I Forgot to Remember is the story of a woman who had to grow up all over again and finally take control of the strange second life she had awoken to.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. A memoir by a woman with no memories is a strange concept, but how different is see more