Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for the letter. I had a dream last night about your old farmhouse next to the Papikwan River. It felt exactly the same as it did when I was a kid except in the dream I wasn’t a kid anymore. I did not see you or Grandpa but you were both there. So was Tub, sniffing around, wagging. There was an old bus parked in your yard and I had to move it behind your garage. The little green shed next to the fuel tank was there too, tall summer grass surrounding it. Across from the shed was your garden with long rows of vegetables and one row of gladiolus, white and faded pink, standing there watching and waving.

I felt really proud of myself because I was going to show Grandpa that I could control that old relic of a vehicle. As soon as I pressed on the clutch it started to roll backward and I knew I had made some sort of mistake but Grandpa would know what to do and he wouldn’t mind. But I had done something wrong and suddenly afraid, I woke before I could see Grandpa alive again.

My eyes sting a bit as I recall this dream now. When I was a kid, I was always the happiest at your house. Lying there after the dream I couldn’t sleep so I went for a walk through my memories right into your old farmhouse. I remember your kitchen cupboards, those designs I guess Grandpa used a router to create. I remember the cellar door under the kitchen table and the spot there where Grandpa used to sit and smoke, his bowl of green peppermints nearby. In the living room, next to the book shelf stocked with Readers Digest, sat the organ where I taught myself to play “Love me Tender” and in front of the couch rested that kidney shaped coffee table I always thought was so fancy. Back in the kitchen I think I remember exactly where you stashed the chocolate cupcakes.

So much time has passed since then, hasn’t it? So many changes too. Yet these memories are so tangible, like reaching out to touch a book cover. Isn’t it surprising just how much we all carry around in our hearts, all the people we’ve loved and the places we’ve loved and the touchstones that decorate those memories?

I have read that dreams are the brain’s attempt to organize emotional clutter or a safe place to work out emotional conflicts. I have read that dreams are fulfillments of unconscious wishes too. But I think this dream just means that I miss you. And I miss those sunny, windy, wavy-grass days of my youth when life was simpler and so much easier. And writing this now I wish I really was parked in an old bus outside your house waiting for you and Grandpa to just come outside and help me back up.



Laoch of Chicago said...

This is evocative: well done.

Missy said...

Ok! I am crying now...

dbs said...

@LoC Thanks. I love my Grandma.

@Missy Sometimes we all just need to cry.

karensomethingorother said...

and now I'm crying. I miss those sunlight-filtered days too.

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