Lorie Sheffer, Guest Blogger, thank you for being here for us every weekend:
Last week I spent the night alone in my childhood bedroom. The lavender walls, which I grudgingly compromised my original choice of dark purple for, have been changed to antique white and my beloved window seat has been removed. Needless to say, my posters of Peter Frampton and Aerosmith are long gone. It now has the look of a very pleasant but infrequently used guest room.
Exhausted, I soon found that I couldn’t sleep. Maybe it was the thought that I had just peed in my closet. After my brother and I left home, my parents converted our closets into what is now a bathroom that is shared by both bedrooms. Nice, waiting till we left home to think of that one! Growing up, we had one bathroom, and it was on the first floor. I opened the door to the little storage area under the eaves and gingerly lifted the loose floorboard, hoping to find something that I had hidden there years before. Apparently I had cleaned things out long ago or my father had discovered my secret hiding place. My stomach lurched, and then I reminded myself that I am 51 years old and my dad hasn’t grounded me in a very long time. Snooping through dresser drawers, I found boxes of jewelry that had belonged to my now deceased grandmothers. Picking up each piece, the vivid memories of them being worn had me in tears. The last thing I found was my puka shell necklace. My best friend and I each bought one in Ocean City Maryland in the summer of 1976, just before our senior year of high school. She committed suicide when we were 30 years old. I sat on the bed holding the necklace, thinking of the countless sleepovers we had, the secrets we shared and the midnight laughter that would wake the rest of my family. I put the necklace into my overnight bag and finally fell asleep.
I woke to the sound of morning rush hour traffic on the busy rural road. Slightly disoriented, eyes gritty from lack of sleep, I realized the sun was just barely rising. I almost felt as if I should hurry down the steps, shower, and run wet headed out of the door so I wouldn’t miss the school bus. Instead I padded down to the kitchen, only to find two elderly folks, one using a walker and the other looking to me for guidance. I poured a cup of coffee and headed out to the end of the driveway for the morning paper. Just as I walked back up onto the porch, the school bus drove by. I crossed my arms against the cold air, took a deep breath and walked back inside.