This is a letter to a Mom
It’s raining. The streets are wet and a colorful orb of rainbow glows around the dome of crystal lights that reach over the sidewalk like a soft bright yellow pendants that hangs from bent arms and reach the from the poles that hold our streetlamps. This is a dream and I know it. I am back in my
previous home on a street called Rowehl Drive in my old hometown of East Meadow.
I stand at the window of my upstairs bedroom. and look out, which is odd because there used to be furniture in front of my bedroom window. there were shades too and white, foldable shutters that closed across the bottom sash of the window. his is how I knew it was a dream. Everything was familiar to me but nothing was in its accurate place.
I look down, angled with a view of my old street in my old town — and a piece of me feels at home. But of course it does; a piece of me feels as if this will always be my home. This is where it all happened. I went through life here. I felt the benefit of experience and the painful sting of sad, tragic news, which we call “Life on Life’s terms.”
Somehow, I realize my bedroom is unfurnished and emptied. And I wonder if this is because my last evening in the room was spent exactly this way. Everything was as it was the day I moved in — emptied and waiting to be filled with memory. And so it was the same at our exit — emptied and all of the memories created were packed up in boxes to be taken up in the mountains at a place called Wesley Hills.
I often have dreams that I return to my childhood bedroom — and I am young in these dreams. I look as I did when I was a kid, longhaired and confused — but mad to live or die; this is who I was.
However, I saw me as a man in this dream, grown with memory and dreams; grown with a life behind me and a world ahead. I saw myself differently in this dream. And in my dream I thought about myself as the child I never was or the life I never had as a schoolboy, walking through the hallways with a set of schoolbooks at my hip — the lockers in the hall are inset into the wall and their colors are the same as I remembered from my days in Woodland Junior High School. I
thought about the way the hallways looked where the inset doorways lead to wooded doors and opened up to empty classrooms.
In this dream, I pictured the walls in the hallway, partially tiled, halfway up to about chin-height on an average sized man — and as usual in my dreams, the hallways are empty and filled with the crazy invisible stir that comes to during the last few weeks of school. I was dreaming. I knew it. But why? Why do we dream about the places we haven’t seen in decades?
And as I dreamt, i began to wonder.
I began to think of things like empty greeting cards meant for love and left empty on the inside for men to write their words to their women. I envisioned the front cover of the greeting card to appear as a sepia photograph, half black and white, and half partially colored to remind me of a wedding I once saw in early summer.
It was a beautiful wedding. It was warm and the sun was bright and the greeting card in my thoughts would look exactly like a picture from that day:
White petals from flowers fell to ground and interacted with grayish, sand-colored bricks. And little flower girls with long silk ribbons and bows with flowers tied their hair looked off, happily inspired in other directions; meanwhile a groom stood waiting in love to present his bride with a dozen, long-stemmed red roses. Behind him, a wrought iron fence pointed upwards like black fingers pointing up to an early June sky.
I see this as my interpretation of life from one stage to the next. And I think of all I have seen throughout the years and all the people I have known.
I think of my mother’s smile and how young she was once. I swore she would never age. I think of how our streets looked back in 1976. I think of different places in the town and how wonderful it was to see a parade marching down passed my house on Merrick Avenue.
And my Father, and my brother, and the baseball fields, and the park at Eisenhower, the schoolyard behind Barnum Woods and the classroom in Mr. Golden’s fifth grade class in The Learning Center—I think of how vivid my dreams are and how once, we were all so incredibly young and untouched by anything mournful.
I don’t speak in my dreams. At least, I don’t think I do. And my locations change life flashes of light. Next, I could see my old backyard. Suddenly, I’m a boy again and returning to where it all began with my boyhood dogs running happily through the green grass by the apple tree that used to be there when my family first moved in.
Eventually, I wake up and I promise myself to write down every detail of the dream. It’s hard though. It’s hard to remember all the flashes of memory. It’s not easy to remember things. But I try because one day, memory will be the only way I can visit the ones I love.
I am thinking of you now. You’re a mom. You’re a grandmother. You are the rock of your family and to me, you are a friend. And right now, I’m not certain where you are. They tell me you’re in the hospital and sleeping. Maybe you’re dreaming.
God, I hope you are. I hope you are dreaming of all these things. I hope you wake up soon and tell everyone all about the dreams you had. Most of all, I hope you are well.
We all have our memories. Over the last decade, I’ve been sharing mine and you’ve been reading along. I want you to know how much this means to me.
I sent you something today. I hope you get it. I wrote on the card, “A writer writes what he has to say.” I figured I could write this and when you wake up, you could read it.
And I hope you read this soon. I hope you imagine my voice reading it to you aloud. And I hope I hear from you.
But for now, I think I’ll send a few words to God the Father and ask that he hears our prayer the same way i hope you can hear me right now
So please —
Get well Soon
Who you are is important to a lot of people