This tour guide then took me aside to say that we had to go on a special trip for the rest of the day. You would stay behind.
We suddenly were at my grandma’s house, empty of people and stripped of the carpet and any upholstered furniture, but full of new furniture and/or re-imagined pieces of furniture en media reas…We were joined by this man’s (who turned out to be a interior designer) assistant, a woman around the same age as me, and we slowly went through each room.
He pointed out how different the space looked; how beautiful this piano was; how glorious the light hit the hutch in the dining room; how he’d had my dad re-do the organ with stained glass pieces incorporated into not just the sides, but the keys. Each time he’d press a key, it would glow.
It was quiet and it was life on an alien planet through some wormhole from my past. I could see myself, as a ten year-old, reading in the smallest bedroom upstairs when we walked by it and I could see myself, as a four year-old, splashing in the tub. We crept into the master bedroom and I saw the designer and his assistant exchange a look.
It was the bedroom of my grandma’s present. The old dressers removed, the side tables gone and just a mattress on the floor. Not even a box spring; just a mattress, old comforters and mismatched pillows that were sprinkled with stale cookie crumbs. The sight of that bed made me cry. At the loneliness of it and the solitude she had to feel each night, going to bed without my grandpa and all of her life–via furniture–in disarray.
Obviously, in that moment, they explained that she was gone. She was dead and my parents couldn’t bear to tell me or even talk about it. So, now it was up to me to take care of everything. To take care of the house, to help this designer and his staff re-model the entire house, including the furniture, and sell it. If it turned out successfully, the next project would be in Italy.
There was a letter which explained what I was to do and that my grandmother left me this house to start the next chapter of my life. My life would be the re-creation of space and to literally reorganize my past in order to reflect my present. That process would develop into my future.
I don’t have to tell you that when I woke up, it took me awhile to adjust to the fact that the day had started. And I don’t have to tell you that I cried. Because throughout all of the dream I didn’t feel sad. I felt that I had a purpose again and that this was a gift from my family to realize that.
So, a friend of mine from Chicago, who has now moved back to NW Ohio and created her own art-related non-profit spoke about fear. That because she faced the fear in her personal and professional life, she experienced failure, but through that failure, she found a life she was proud of and “how important it is to have someone to push you past your fear because when you have a healthy sense of vulnerability, true happiness can be gained.”