I miss things.

I can be standing in a room with a group of people and, if one of them tells a story or a joke, it happens lots of times that I will miss the last thing they said. Or, I might miss something crucial to the story they were telling. When I’m listening to a talk show, lots of times, I miss a word at the end or the middle that would make the whole idea make sense. You’d think the commentator would repeat what he said. Any good teacher does that. Doesn’t the speaker want to get the point across?

It’s the same with television. I really hate it if one of my favorite sitcoms is on and I miss the little funny remarks that the characters shoot back and forth. I know my hearing isn’t what it used to be, but I thought I could hear better than that. Maybe, I need to pay attention better.

It’s not just that I miss hearing some things. I miss seeing things, too. My far vision is pretty good, so I can’t blame my situation on that. What happens is Sweetheart and I will be driving along on our way to one of our favorite destinations and my mind will stray. Or I will be looking out of my window at the scenery. Then, Sweetheart will say something like, “Did you see that (fill in the blank)? Of course, I was looking in another direction and I did not see it. Sometimes, if it’s a long trip, I will be reading a book, or making a telephone call. That’s when something interesting pops up along the road and Sweetheart is the only person who sees it.

One time, as we were coming home from a Labor Day picnic, since I was tired, I leaned back and closed my eyes. Suddenly I heard a thump. My eyes popped open and I asked Sweetheart, “What was that?” “A deer,” he said. It cost us more than $4,000 to get the car fixed and I missed the whole thing. The deer ran off into the woods and I didn’t even get to see if the deer was damaged.

I miss birthdays, too. I wrote down a list of birthdays in my address book so I could send a card on those special occasions, but do I do it? Most of the time I do. Sometimes I don’t. Trouble is, I don’t l always look at my little address book when I should.

I don’t see any resolution to this dilemma – especially at this point in my life. I can try harder to pay attention, but the price is too high. I’ll probably just spend the rest of my life being a missing person.

(Dorothy Knight Burchett is a former newspaper columnist and the author of “Miles and Miracles,” available at Pokeberry Exchange in New Castle and on Amazon.)

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