The memories come unexectedly. Maybe not as often as they did but they are never too far away. Yesterday, I was looking for a place to put the clean sheets in the bedroom of the bunkie. I opened the drawer to the quilt chest I am using as a bedside table and I was instantly taken back in time.
It was 1970 something and Mom and I were in Richmond visiting the mother of my sister’s friend. She was refinishing and selling antique furniture out in the yard of her rather run down looking property. Mom chose the quilt chest and I chose a small cabinet which to this day sits beside my bed. I call Mom’s purchase a quilt chest but it is a cabinet with a bar to hang a quilt at the back… Does that make sense??? I’ll show you a picture some time.
Anyway, to go on, as soon as I opened the drawer to the chest I could smell my mother’s perfume. She used to keep her dainties, scarves and jewelry in the cabinet and although it has been two years since she passed, she is there in the room with me. It was a welcome feeling.
This afternoon it was a song playing randomly from my playlist. Where do you go to by Peter Sarstedt.
I was young, very young and my sister and I shared a bedroom. Grandma and Mom each had a bedroom down the hall from us and my brother was in the basement. Apparently, my sister wasn’t always tormenting me because one night, laying in the dark, neither of us could settle and she sang me to sleep with that song.
Years later when my Grandma had moved to a “home”, there was a brief time when my sister, mother and I all lived together. I was maybe twenty? On the night I remembered we had gone to bed, each of us alone in one of the three bedrooms stretching down a long hall in a silent house. I don’t remember if it was the night my dog had died, or maybe we were worried about Grandma, but none of us could sleep.
Picture it if you will. It wasn’t an enormous house but a fair size. All of the lights were out. There was complete silence until Mom called out into the dark, “Alabama”. My sister responded with “Alaska”. “Shit”, I thought,” Ok, I’ll play, Arizona” And so it went. Three Canadian women reciting American States alphabetically, John Boy Walton style in the dark, to take our mind off the day and try to get to sleep.
I spent the week with my granddaughter reading the book Mortimer just like my Mother did with my sons. Every time I did I could hear her voice… Mortimer be quiet!
To quote Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember.
Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories
but I am
blessed with many