At the front of my Grandma’s house was a secret room. There was no way in. No door. A huge shrub hugged the only outside window to the room. My eight year old self was curious. ” Why is there a room you can’t use?” To me it was the stuff mysteries were made of. Was there a hidden treasure inside, stolen property being hidden from the authorities? Had there been a crime committed in that room and the evidence boarded up? My imagination ran wild and I would often make up stories about the secret room. I kept asking questions. Finally, my mom explained that when the house was remodeled, they just closed it off because they didn’t need it anymore. I didn’t believe it for a minute. A few times I tried to squeeze between the shrub and the grimy aperture, but I was too short to peer inside. I was confident there was a story behind that dusty glass. There were other things regarding my grandparents that were secretive; events not discussed,things hushed so children would not know. My grandparents lost a child to a childhood disease. She was just a toddler. Years later a son was killed in a car accident shortly after returning home from the Korean War. After the accident, my grandmother was gone for a while. Even her absence was not spoken about when I was around. A nervous breakdown. A mental illness. Shock treatments. Comments overheard, but never explained. Together, the questions in my mind made the secret room all the more enticing. My conclusion was romantic and tender. I was convinced that all the painful memories from the sadness in my grandparent’s lives were boxed up and stored in that room. Baby clothes and blankets, a teddy bear, a ribbon from her hair, maybe even a lock of hair. Many years have passed. My grandparent’s house shelters another family now. There is no one left to ask about the secret room.
About Life in the 50’s and Retired Ruth
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- I didn't have my glasses on....