Just twenty-two years old, Su Meck was already married and the mother of two children in 1988 when a ceiling fan in the kitchen of her home fell from its mounting and struck her in the head. She survived the life-threatening swelling in her brain that resulted from the accident, but when she regained consciousness in the hospital the next day, she didn't know her own name. She didn't recognize a single family member or friend, she couldn't read or write or brush her teeth or use a fork-and she didn't have even a scrap of memory from her life up to that point. The fiercely independent and outspoken young woman she had been vanished completely. Most patients who suffer amnesia as a result of a head injury eventually regain their memories, but Su never did. After just three weeks in the hospital she was sent back out into a world about which she knew nothing: What did it mean to be someone's wife? To be a mother? How did everyone around her seem to know what they were supposed to do or say at any given moment?
Adrift in the chaos of mental data that most of us think of as everyday life, Su became an adept mimic, fashioning a self and a life out of careful observation and ironclad routine. She had no dreams for herself, no plans outside the ever-burgeoning daily to-do list of a stay-at-home mom. The Meck family left Texas to start over in Maryland, and told almost no one in their new life about Su's accident. Nearly twenty years would pass before Su understood the full extent of the losses she and her family suffered as a result of her injury. As a series of personally devastating events shattered the "normal" life she had worked so hard to build, Su realized that she would have to grow up all over again, and finally take control of the strange second life she had awoken into.
Su Meck is pursuing degrees in music and book studies from Smith College. I Forgot to Remember is her first book; her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine. Daniel de Vise is an author and journalist who has worked at The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and three other newspapers in a twenty-four-year career. His investigative reporting has twice led to the release of wrongly convicted men from life imprisonment; he shared a 2001 Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Wesleyan and Northwestern universities, de Vise lives with his wife and children in Maryland. He is the author of I Forgot to Remember (with Su Meck) and Andy and Don.
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