I woke this morning a bit melancholy wishing I could go back to sleep, wishing I could spend more time on Park Square Drive.
The realness of my dreams early this morning were so odd, but as I look closer I know exactly why my subconscious sent me the first floor apartment. Every piece of furniture, trinket and wall handing was the same as it was the last time I walked through my grandmother’s apartment door.
Even the yellowish square shaped stone that held her bedroom door open was there. I moved it away so that they door would shut behind me as I searched for something. I felt the soft fullness of her bedspread as I moved to the window. I could even feel the sheer drapes that always hung over her bedroom window. In my dream, her window was open and I thought, “it’s been open the entire time.” It felt like a week had passed since my grandmother had been there, but in the reality she hasn’t lived in that apartment for 16 years.
Twice, her alarm clock went off (actually it was Matt’s alarm), but in my dream I thought, “ah, she would have woken up at this time as well”. Which is probably true, she was an early riser, though she attempted to be quiet she always woke me up in the morning while making coffee.
In my dream she was not there and I was searching for something - something I needed. During my search I picked up a cube shaped picture frame that was actually a music box, it slowly played Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, as song by BJ Thomas, a song that I will always associate with my grandfather probably because the frame always held a picture of him.
|One of the pictures that was always in the music box|
Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying's not for me, 'cause,
I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining
Because I'm free
Nothing's worrying me
At one point I woke up from my dream, but quickly tried to rush myself back to sleep longing for the smell of white shoulders perfume to take me over. Grasping for just five more minutes in the peace of Park Square Drive.
As the surroundings of my childhood changed in a pretty steady beat, I could always count of the stability of my grandmother’s apartment. I have to laugh because in my dream her bed kept moving - by the window, closer to the closet, on the other wall - this most certainly because she was known to always move her furniture. She was always trying out new arrangements - I pushed her hide-a-bed sofa across her living room more times than I can count.
My grandparents moved to Park Square Drive when I was five, shortly before my grandfather’s passing. I have fond memories of their first apartment. My Papa always had CapriSuns for us. I remember the smoothness of their leather sofas and always wanting to put change in his bank that sorted coins. That apartment also holds the memory of the realization of my Papa’s illness. I remember learning that a fire truck comes with an ambulance when someone has a heart attack. It’s crazy how old he seemed to me, but he was just 61 when he passed away.
My grandmother lived in two other apartments on Park Square Drive - both in the same building, on the same hall, but it’s her floor apartment (down the hall on the right) a simple two room apartment that is my safe place. The place my mind runs when my world is out of control.
There are so many memories in that apartment like spending the summer crafting, making magnets in elementary school that hung on her refrigerator till the day we move her into a nursing home. And her kitchen with the dark brown cabinets and her round table where a nice meal would always include cantaloup and sliced tomatoes. I remember painting my nails pink at that table to match the pink dress I wore to my oldest cousin’s wedding. And I can also recall fighting morning sickness at that table when I was 14 and I had just confessed to my mother that I was pregnant while visiting my grandmother for Christmas.
The blue hide-a-bed sofa in her living room holds the memories of a lost 17 year old that truly felt the love of Jesus during the Summer of 1995. I also sat on that sofa six years later and told my Meme that I was pregnant and unmarried. Years before I sat next to my favorite great aunt on that sofa, that afternoon would be the last time I would see the red-haired woman that I looked up to so much.
It is no shock to me that in a time when I feel like my life is chaotic and I hear criticisms louder that complements that my subconscious would take me to a place where I feel safe. A place where I always felt love. A place that was always stable when my life was out of control. I want so badly to walk through that door again, to find comfort on that sofa and to be surrounded by the safeness of her love.
Raindrops are falling on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling
So I just did me some talking to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
He's sleeping on the job
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep fallin'
But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me
It won't be long 'till happiness steps up to greet me
Many months ago as I started an EMDR session I was asked to find my safe place and I first thought, “man, I have no clue. I can’t pinpoint a home from the childhood that felt ‘safe’”. Then, one evening I felt panic lurking close by and a grabbed my favorite quilt that I have had for ages - since I was 17, actually. As I covered myself in the heaviness of the quilt I realized when I first felt it calming weight - on that blue sofa, in that apartment on Park Square Drive.
Do you have a safe place? A place where your mind takes you when life is spinning out of control? A stable memory that you cling to?