21 March 2011

[that bed. that room] | newburyport, ma

I tiptoe past the master bedroom where
My mother reads her magazines
I hear her call sweet dreams
But I forget how to dream {c. simon}

Climbing up the stairs I’d see her reading a book with a hot cup of tea by her side. I would settle down next to her for a chat. I can’t remember what it was we chatted about. If I was in  high school it would have been about some boy I had a crush on or if she made a decision about letting me drive her car to a friend’s house. Or clothes, always about clothes. If I was younger it would have been about my ballet class or my piano lessons or Little House on the Prairie. If I was visiting from Boston it would have been about my job, my boss, my house, being single.  I was reminded of these moments recently and I wish I had a photograph of us together like that.  I would lay across her bed while she searched for something to wear to go out to dinner with Dad.  I’d watch her cull outfits together for the next trip they were to take, pulling perfectly folded clothes from very organized drawers.
Everything seemed centered around that big bed. Dad would leave for work and I would climb in. Dad would be on a business trip and I would climb in. I’m sure my sisters feel the same way. Opening a Christmas stocking on that bed.  I think that was my last Christmas at home. My brother home from the hospital after a pretty bad accident - thankfully alright - we both got to be in that bed. What were we 4 and 6 - making roads for his hot wheels out of the curves in the blankets. In high school when both my parents traveled I slept in their bed – I’m sure my siblings have a similar memory. Was there a time that we fought over that bed? Probably. There was a tv and a bathroom - it was the perfect hotel room. There was something safe and special about that bed, that room.
After months of working so hard after her stroke, Mom came home to that bed. What a great day  that was having her back to her nest. I remember a particular Saturday visiting from Boston, I climbed into bed next to her – we were watching the Kentucky Derby I think. I was talking away about the horses. She couldn’t talk after her stroke, but somehow we managed to communicate. I lay there by her side holding her hand. Just holding  it. Wanting so much to make her well. I wondered what she was thinking, what was going on inside her. I would search her eyes for answers. She touched my cheek. It’s a precious memory I have. I want to be with her again, in that room, on that bed. Oh what I wouldn’t give. Bringing Annie home to Connecticut for the first time, as an infant, was the most bittersweet moment. Mom was gone. But her bed was not. All I wanted to do was put my head on her pillow with my newborn by my side and remember. All the time spent there. All the moments. All the chatting. All the laughter. Fleeting bits of memories flooding my brain. Floating in the air waiting to be caught.

The bed. The room. My beautiful mom. Gone.

I remembered this the other day when Annie and I were hanging out on my bed. She loves to jump on it of course. She loves to sit on the top of the head board. She’s queen of the world. She’s queen of my world. I was staring at her thinking that her eyebrows are shaped like my mom’s – I asked her to come lay down next to me. Head to head – nose to nose. I grabbed my camera. Because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want Annie to forget. Just being. Just talking. Feeling safe and loved and cherished.

[she + me]


Matt Conlon said...

It's impressive that even without a photograph, you manage to paint a vivid picture.

Jen said...

this is so precious, meg. all of it. xo

susan said...

Gorgeous. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Meg. It isn't often that we get to share a memory that others can so relate to. Your description was so beautifully written that I felt almost like a fly on the wall. And the gift of the photos you took will certainly be cherished by Annie for years to come. I wish I had more photos of my mother and me. Know that you are lucky and blessed my friend. E. Capalbo

Anonymous said...

Yes, that bed, that room, our beautiful mom...never ever to be forgotten, forever alive in our hearts. Beautiful memories, Meg, I share them with you, the wonderful chats as we'd steal dad's side of the bed from him and banish him to the family room for a while! You're so right, it always felt so safe and we so cherished. And now you are giving that wonderful gift to Annie. Just like I shared with Adam and Leah...and the road goes on...and we move along with it. Precious. xo

monet b. photography said...

The way you write is a such a gift. Thank you for sharing these memories and the photos with Annie are just perfect!