One of the most frequently asked questions I receive since my accident is “What is it like not having any memories of your past”. The best way I can answer that is “LOST” it is the most descriptive word I know of describing this feeling. It feels like everyone around you knows everything about you and your past and I just try to imagine my life and memories as they are told to me by my friends and loved ones. There are times that I will listen to my family tell stories of things that have happened in our past and I just sit there amazed that everyone knows this story but ”me”.
I often relate to this question of “What is it like not having memories of your past” to the movie Family Man starring Nicholas Cage as “Jack” and Tea Leoni. I have watched this movie several times and I find it difficult to get through because of the fact that it is so relative to my situation and that I share some of the same confusions, disbelieves and fears that Nicholas Cage has in his character in the movie. For those of you not familiar with this movie, it is about a character played by Nicholas Cage who receives a visit from an angel that gives him a glimpse of what his life would be like if he had married his college sweetheart and not gone to London to become a stock broker.
The movie begins with Jack in his life as a successful Wall Street tycoon controlled by the power of making money and being successful. He then runs into this man running a convenient store who turns out to be an “Angel” and gives Jack a glimpse of what his life would be like if he had married his college sweetheart. The next scene is Jack waking up in a bed with a wife and two kids and a dog and it Christmas Eve. The look of confusion he has on his face at that given moment when he wakes up is one that I can relate to. I felt that when I woke up the first time after arriving at home from the hospital it felt like this was a dream and it will soon go away. The movie has so many parallels with Cage’s character and myself.
We both married our college sweethearts and where both successful businessmen and both woke up one day and our lives were changed forever. We both struggled with trying to realize who we are and why are we here and we do not remember anything of our past. I found the movie difficult to watch for several reasons, but most noticeably is the fact that the fear in the characters eyes and the realization of this situation is not going to change is probably the most difficult thing for me. But as he movie goes on he starts to become more comfortable in his role as a husband, father and a business owner. Jack starts to believe that this is his life and begins to accept it and before you know it his glimpse of his life is over and he wakes up again in his previous life.
Many people have told me and Joan that our story is almost like a movie, well in this case it is correct but we continue to live this movie every single day and every scene seems to bring new challenges in our daily lives. I know our life is no “Hollywood Story” but I can definitely relate to the movie “Family Man” which I find fitting to my story is because that is what I am a ”Family Man”.