Standing in the doorway with the sun sneaking through the slats in the window shades, I couldn’t help but lose myself in flashbacks to older days. The light danced around the room, stopping briefly on moments in time… moments that will forever be in my heart and mind, but will ultimately fade as new memories nudge them deeper into the elevator crevices of my aging intellectual lore.
My daughter filled that room with those memories. She created them. In three days, we, my husband and I will walk her down the aisle and give her hand to a man with whom she will create a new life, and new memories.
In the middle of the floor, on the bright red carpet, we sat, cross-legged, cutting out flowers from a magazine for a collage on which she was working. Many nights I climbed into bed and lay down next to her and just talked until she could fall asleep (if she wasn’t visiting me in my room). I can’t remember how many times I sat on the edge of her bed listening to a problem with a friend, or a new Backstreet Boys song. We must have spent hours doing art projects on that floor, even before, when the carpet was aqua colored.
She had decorated the room herself from floor to ceiling herself, with excellent taste, when we offered her the opportunity to do so as a reward for taking the smaller bedroom when we first moved into our present home. She was ten, but had a remarkable ability to make the best out of every situation. She still has that attribute.
The color scheme had changed when she was away on a school trip to Boston, the room transformed to her Coca-Cola theme. Her brother, father and I spent every evening making that happen in three short nights. It seemed to me that was when the door of that room began to slam more, and would remain closed most of the time. Middle School will have that effect.
Over the years, her room was always cluttered. In the aqua days, I would find little girl things: games, stuffed animals, candy wrappers and the like. As she grew into a young woman, her interests changed and so did the clutter. There were running shoes and clothes, make-up, community service awards, art supplies and books. The food wrappers had changed too. There were granola bars, protein bars and vegetarian snacks wrappers now. Don’t misunderstand, there was still chocolate. And there were still a few of her favorite stuffed animals. Now, additionally however, there was a vast collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia.
The room has been as she left it almost ten years ago. Empty, except for occasional visits. The memories remain, sometimes haunting, sometimes tickling my heart. My daughter has, does, and will always have a large part of my heart. As she enters into this marriage, I know she will bring as much joy to her husband and new family as she has to me. As for me, I’ll likely find myself standing in her doorway, remembering, and having flashbacks.