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Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Million Dreams

The theme for Fun Monday this week carried me back to the double bed that I shared with my sister Trish.  There was a time that it sat in the unfinished basement where its headboard and the headboards of my other siblings beds were flush against the cold concrete.  It was probably a lot like going to summer camp (and I sure wanted to go to summer camp), except we slept there in formation out of necessity.   Lucky for Trish and me, Mama pestered daddy until he allowed a small addition and some remodeling that added two teeny bedrooms to what had been a one bedroom main floor.  That saved us from the nightly routine of descending those cold basement steps.

In that ancient squeaky old bed I remember waking up afraid.  I would cry “Mama” or run through the house in search of her comfort.  She would get out of her ancient squeaky old bed and walk me me back and tuck me in and softly rub my back.

That is when she would ask me, “What would you buy if you had a million dollars?”

I would start naming things, none of which I can recall this moment.  Mama would listen quietly or maybe nod and respond with a knowing, “hmmmm.”  Then she would rub her fingers across my cheek to make sure all the tears were gone. 

“You think of some more things and tell me the rest in the morning. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Good night, Pameluji.”

“Good night, Mama.”

Looking back at those moments through the eyes of an adult, I think that dreaming is what Mama did before she fell asleep each night.  She had so little.  I imagine that with the million dollar windfall in her mind, she was remodeling the house so that each of her children had a bedroom, a bed, a closet, and several chest-of- drawers filled with well-tailored clothes and footwear. No more mended hand-me-downs.  A new piano would sit in a conservatory where her children and their music teacher would spend the afternoon in lessons.  The evening meal would be savored in a dining room with a sturdy table and matching chairs. Oh! There would be real china and silverware to share with guests. The pantry would be full and there would never be any stress on her part about the next days meals.  College tuition would be paid in advance and her children would all graduate with honors. (She was an idealist.)  Mama, however,  was not so extravagant as to have dreamed about buying her children new cars. Those new shoes were made for walking!


Some nights even now when I have trouble falling asleep I hear my Mama asking, "What would you buy if you had a million dollars?"

With the millions that my imaginary lotto ticket provides, I lie in bed and list all the ways I make life easier for my children and grandchildren.  Then I benefit close friends and neighbors with my fantasy philanthropy.  By the time my eyelids grow heavy, I am writing anonymous checks to worthy charities. Sometimes I fall asleep dreaming of going to summer camp.




Join Molly and the 10 million dollar dreamers of Fun Monday by clicking here!

21 comments:

bichonpawz said...

Oh Pamela! What a wonderful story about your mom...beautiful memories...I believe my mom would have had those very same thoughts!

chrisb said...

Pamela reading that brought a tear to my eye you paint a very vivid picture. Your mother sounds a wonderful lady and spending money is much more fun than counting sheep!

Molly said...

Thanks for playing Pamela. I love the way that you have shared your memories. Your Mama was a kind and wise women. When you mentioned the piano, I remembered my son and I used to talk of buying a baby grand piano if we came into money. One of our other dreams was to take a cruise to Antarctica, which certainly would NOT be on my list today.

Sayre said...

Oh... I'm crying for the scared little girl. How lucky she was to have a mother who allowed her to dream big - even in the basement.

Jenni said...

You may not have had much material wealth growing up, but it seems to me you had something much more valuable than all those millions. Thanks for sharing your memories. I always enjoy these family stories of yours the most.

Jill said...

that is a great story. I dont know what my mom would want. She finally got her house redone this year, so I imagine she's pretty well set, but I bet my dad could come up with a lot, he's a pretty big dreamer! Just got mine up a little bit ago. http://www.lifeisnotbubblewrapped.com/2011/02/07/fun-monday-if-i-had-10-a-million-dollars/

Donna Schlicting said...

Your stories come from a deep private place and what an honor to be part of them! I think your mama may have found the cure for insomnia. I'm sure going to put it to work... thanks ;-D

The Church Lady said...

I so enjoyed this endearing memory about your childhood, Pamela. Your mama sounds like she was a wonderful, caring person.

Faye said...

Love, love, love this post, Pamela. I remember what it felt like as a little girl to long for a room of my own and some privacy. You did win big with a wise and loving mother who understood what her children needed more than material wealth.

Intense Guy said...

Your mom already knew something - you can't buy love nor happiness with money... but the love of her family.. is something she passed down to you - that is evident.

:) She was a smart woman...

JoeinVegas said...

Oh, cold basement.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Pamela, What beautiful memories ..your Mama sounds wonderful...some women are just naturals at comforting their children. What a blessing for you. Excellent post..thank you. I often think of what I would do if I hit it rich..wouldn't it be a blast! Oh well it is fun to dream:)

Kim said...

My Mama could relate to your Mama. Doing the best you can with what you have is a real talent and blessing to a family. Making children feel safe and secure and loved. Lovely post.

grammy said...

First of all...I want to know if that picture back on ,bad hair day april 07...was you???
I just wrote about the girls waking up at my house last night (o:
So did you all move up to the new bedroom or just you and your sister ?
My sister and I shared a bed...in our freezing cold house we spooned to keep alive (o: Then when my dad was dead and my brother was a messed up teenage boy with a BAD drinking problem.... my sister and I held on to each other and cried in the middle of the night when he was on a rampage... oh the crazy memories.

Jan n Jer said...

What a heartwarming story Pamela. You had the best thing there is in life and that is the Love of a wonderful caring Mother. all the money in the world cant buy that!!!

Sandy said...

Pamela? Could we start a summer camp for grownups? Please?

Gattina said...

What a sweet post ! I think I would travel around the world and devide the rest between our needs and my son's but he doesn't really need anything besides a bigger house which he could afford but it's very difficult to find in Amsterdam.
What's left I will think it over tonight before I fall asleep !

Merle said...

Hi Pamela ~~ I so enjoyed your post with the lovely memories of your dear Mother and her comforting ways.
Thanks for your visit to my blog and glad you enjoy the jokes etc.
Take care, Love, Merle.

Steve Skinner said...

Your story is worth a million!!!

Peter said...

Great post Pamela, thanks for sharing.

judypatooote said...

I should join in on this...what a wonderful way to share a memory. And you know I'm all about memories....I love your story Pamela...reading your story makes me realize I must have been a spoiled brat...but I never knew I was spoiled, it was just the way things were...God Bless You and thanks for stopping by blog sight... judy