Find strength in your memories...
|I wake up with a start. I was falling in my dream. Again. Maybe its time to open that dream interpretation book Aunt Marge gave me for last Christmas.
I reach for my glasses that lie on the side stand, and accidentally knock over the night lamp. It shatters on the tiled floor. The sun beam sneaking in from the window falls on the shards of glass and makes them glisten like a thousand fireflies. Suddenly I am taken back to Sunday evenings at Grandma's place. The Bougainvillea were always teaming with those Lighting bugs. And my little brother Andrew would run into the house and grab one of the empty Mason Jars that my grandma used to keep for storing home-made orange marmalade. I could smell the citrus even now, so crisp were my memories of it.
Its been six months since the accident in which I lost my grandmother, and my little brother Andrew, but I still think about them everyday. Everything reminds me of them. There is no telling what will bring about one my episodes of despair. Everyone has to tip-toe around me, treat me like a baby. I cried looking at a bowl of salad at work last week, because the fresh cream reminded me of how my grandmother used to churn cream to make her own butter at home. "Better Butter" she used to call it. She was all about organic and home-made foods, reprimanding my Mom for putting chemicals into our bodies.
I shake my head to get myself out of my reverie. I walk across the room to the window and pull down the shutter. The light is too bright. As I get the broom from the kitchen and start cleaning the mess on the floor, I think about how my own life needs cleaning. I allow myself to admit that I've been a complete mess these past six months. If I don't pull myself together, I know I'll go crazy. It is clear to me that I cannot let go of the memories, they crush me like a ten feet wave. So maybe I need to learn to swim with it. I know I can't forget about them, but maybe instead of weakness, I can learn to find strength in my memories.
As I shower, I let the hot water remind me of the summer sun beating down on my back during gardening with Grandma. I remember how strong it made me feel, bearing the heat and the grime, to breathe life into a plant. I let the scent of the shower gel wash over me, just like the Honeysuckle I used to put in Andrew's hair, pretending he was my little sister. The steam in the tiny bathroom wraps around me like a blanket, and I let it comfort me, just like Grandma's warm hugs.
I leave the bathroom feeling a strange sense of serenity that is almost alien to me now. Clad in a bathrobe and my bunny slippers, I go over to the phone in the kitchen and dial my Mom's number. She pick up on the first ring.
"Hi Mom, I was wondering if you could come over and help me", I say in a voice that has a hint of smile in it, " I am making Orange Marmalade."