For the past week or so, I’ve been having the strangest thoughts that seemingly arise from out of nowhere, when I’m sitting quietly at my desk, or doing some mundane and mindless task. They all seem to stem from a dream I had a few nights ago, I think, wherein I was back in my grandparents house, on Astor street, in Fort Worth, TX. I am my current age, but they were still there. They’d be in their 100s now, were they still living. My grandfather, on my mothers side, was born in 1909. His wife, my grandmother, in 1912, I think. The small house still looked the same, the low nap carpet with its subtle pattern, the circular woven rug in the center of the living room, the dark wood paneling.
Even the back yard was the same, the single wagon wheel on it’s side, mounted in concrete so as to act as a makeshift merry-go-round that you held on to and swung from, the Honeysuckle hedge, my grandfather’s “dog house.” Inside the doghouse, he was there, sitting at a his small work bench, slowly turning the knob on his WWII era shortwave radio, the one I inherited from him when he passed away. He smiles at me, no words, I step in and smell that distinctive smell of oil and gasoline from the mower he also kept in the doghouse. It was a highly sensory dream. Since that night, I’ve had waking moments where I’m back there again. The memory is fresh for some reason. I’m looking into the face of my grandmother, who passed away from cancer in 1985. I’m seeing my grandfather sitting in his recliner, smiling, his white and thinning hair on top, and his horn rimmed glasses who died of complications from multiple strokes in 1980…and I feel warm, happy, comfortable. Even the smell of the house is in my nose…it’s an old, musty, but somewhat comfortable smell, and I want to stay.
I don’t know what all this means. I can’t understand why memories of my grandparents are visiting my mind now, of all times. Perhaps the dream opened a neural pathway to where those memories are kept, releasing them in order to provide me a little peace and comfort during this unsettling time. In the dream, and in the waking visions, I walk around that old house in Astor street, and a few things shift…the door to the kitchen is moved over a bit..but the stacked white washer/dryer combo still there…the small table in the corner…the one with the laminate top, the white cabinetry, the cans of Armour brand Vienna sausages. I’m sure it’s nothing, but I wonder, sometimes, why these kinds of memories just pop up every now and then. I know I’m not the only person for which this happens, and I won’t be the last. I know that someday, if I have grandchildren, they may have memories of a similar nature, about me. We are all born, and we all die, what matters is what happens in between those two events. We live on in the neural pathways of our children and grandchildren, and even further. Make that memory a good one…a warm, happy, comfortable one.