I constantly struggle with my lack of memory, some of which seem just out of reach. Read some of my back posts if you want to go down the rabbit hole on it.
It sounds like, as Jude said, you're on a good path, asking the right questions.
I've had trouble disclosing to family and asking to fill in gaps, but I did just recently with my sister. As for living in a different state, a phone call is a good first step. Face to face might be better in certain ways, but it's harder too.
We're here for you.
But he grew old, this knight so bold / And upon his heart a shadow / Fell as he found / No spot on the ground / That looked like El Dorado.