Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sleeping Arrangements

The other night I awoke to my lovely snuggled up against me and I similarly snuggled up close to her.

I thought how pleasant it was to share that intimacy of sleep and touch with someone I love. Really it is a great blessing. It is one of those "ordinary miracles" I think. It is ordinary because it is common and frequent. It is a miracle because it is wondrous and beautiful and joyful.

Well, to be fair, it may not always be joyful.

I thought of how I started out sleeping. I don't recall it actually but I know about it because I was told for one thing. And for another when I remember the earliest time then I can guess what came previously. That first arrangement for me in a baby bed that was inside my parents' bedroom. The house only had 3 rooms really: bedroom, bathroom, and combination living-dining-kitchen. So there wasn't much else. I'm quite certain I slept alone for the most part, too. Because there wasn't much room for anyone else. I am certain I slept sometimes in the bed with my parents but that's not a memory.

I was 5 when my brother came along. Before his arrival my dad had enclosed a front porch. He moved the front door around to the south side of the newly built room. Mom found this trundle bed for us.

It didn't look like the one in the image but it's as close as I could find. Ours was this height or maybe taller and had no drawers in between. The head and foot were open more and were the same height. It was kind of that color though.

He didn't sleep there at first though. He took over the baby bed for a while. He was a disappointment at first, too. I had big plans for a playmate and was surprised to learn that baby brothers don't come ready-made-to-play.

I slept on the top bed and I managed to fall off once or twice. It was a pretty good drop. We both manged to jump off a few times. So our bed set lengthwise across the room just in front of the door.

On the other side of our bed we had a play area with shelves that contained our toys and a few books. There was a desk there eventually that my uncle made me for some birthday. It was a very fine desk, too. I don't know what happened to it. I cut a hold in the back once trying to make a secret hiding place in that space between the back of the drawers and the back of the desk. It wasn't a very good hiding place.

Later on, when dad built the "new" house, I had my own bedroom and a full size bed. I was very proud to have my own room. Dad and mom were proud they were able to provide such a luxury.

I married when I was 20. We had a full size bed at first. I remember it was difficult for me to adjust to living in town with neighbors and funny tasting city water. It was more difficult adjusting to having a bed partner. I really did not like that snuggling thing at all. I wasn't old enough then to appreciate humans much or that's what I think now.

Eventually we became more prosperous and moved to a bigger place ourselves and had kids and got a king size bed. I remember that being pretty nice.

Then we divorced and I slept alone again. It was as hard becoming accustomed to sleeping alone as it was becoming accustomed to sleeping with someone. Although I do recall thinking there were definite benefits to sleeping alone.

Then I moved a few times and hauled the king size bed around with me. They are a PITA to move around.

Eventually I returned to mom's and dad's house and back to my old room. It already had a matching bedroom set of furniture. So the king size bed stayed in the garage and I slept on a regular size again.

Dad and mom had been sleeping together for 51 years when I came to live with them. They had moved up to a queen size bed but they liked to sleep close together. Mom loved to be in her bed in her room when she was ill and she loved having dad there beside her.

Before she died her leg had been broken in a fall on one of the stairs. I had gotten her a hospital bed and set it up in the family room. I had rented three roll away beds for aides and me and dad. We had pushed dad's bed up close to mom's hospital bed the evening she died. They both went to sleep that evening holding hands through the rails of her bed. He was right there by her when she died.

Dad could barely stand it when she died. I recall so clearly after she died that dad would sit on the side of their bed before retiring. He would just sit there and he was so lonely looking and so sad. He would sit there a good while before finally lying down. I had a bit of knowledge about the feeling I think because I felt alone and lost when I divorced and I could still remember that first time I slept alone. I had only been married 25 years.

It was just a few months before he died that I got the hospital bed for him. I took down the queen size bed and put it in the basement storage room. I didn't cry out loud but I was crying inside. The hospital bed was an air mattress one and it made a lot of noise and I'm not sure it was very comfortable. Dad didn't like it and he missed his other bed. I felt so bad. But the hospital bed was so much easier and it had become so hard by that time to take care of him and his needs. I wish I had been able somehow to keep him in his bed. I wish he could have died in his bed instead of that hospital bed.

But at least he was able to die there in his own bedroom. That's something.

I married 3 years before dad died and 3 years after mom's death. I love snuggling with her in our bed.

1 comment:

~Betsy said...

What a lovely post, Terry. Thank you for sharing.