This memory lodged in the back of my head with not many details. Yet it would pop up and haunt me for years. I could describe the setting and a few characters, but not the reason for the activity. It wasn’t until after Daddy had died that I asked Mother if the image was actually an event that happened. For I thought it must likely be my imagination associated with something fearful.
Setting: a room with little furniture. A dark couch and coffee table set against the wall on the left of my scene. Straight ahead was a little table. Nothing on the top of either table. Between these and in the distance a door opened and three men walked in. Were they invited or did someone greet them? I recognized my dad between the other two men. Nothing else happened.
What was it all about? Something significant? A memory or a dream? Was I the one viewing the scene? Did I have reason for that lingering fear? Where was Mother?
Mother had the key to these questions, but it look me years (too many years) before I asked for answers. Yes, it was a true event. And Mother was there and knew what happened.
The men had brought Daddy home from the office and he would soon be admitted to the hospital with a nervous breakdown. I don’t remember how long he stayed. What I do know is that he had an obsession about cleanliness – either before or after the hospital stay. He would constantly ask Mother to “wash Ann’s hands.”
I can still see the original memory, but now I place details within the setting. Reasons for the event make sense, but it’s a faded picture hanging sideways in my memory bank. And no fear lingers.