My dark room faded into the blackness of thought. The day whirred around. The blackness of thought shut off for the abyss of sleep. And within the sleep, thought began again. Dreams.

My mother was calling my name, "It's time to go!" I was still putting my dress shoes on. I was in my mother's childhood bedroom in my grandparents' house. I was sitting on the unmade bed I had slept on. I was already wearing my dark brown suit pants and a dress shirt. My jacket lay next to me on the bed. I was trying to fit my feet into the dress shoes which I hadn't worn in ages.

The room was lit from a large lamp on the old wooden desk. It filled the room with a warm orange glow as the morning rays of sun started to shine in through the windows. Finally, I fit both feet in my shoes after some struggle and began tying them up. I heard my mother calling my name again. "One second!" I shouted back.

I stood up, both shoes laced. I left the room and entered the dimly lit hallway. I looked at the pictures on the walls. Black and white photographs of my great-great grandparents, my great grandparents, my grandparents in their youth. Color photographs of my uncle and mom. And I took a minute to look at one picture in particular, ignoring the multiple calls of my mother. It was of me and my grandfather. He was holding my hand at the beach as we were running away from the incoming waves. I must have been two years old in that picture. We both had wide smiles upon our faces. And I felt my eyes tingle with incoming tears, but I was distracted once again by my mother, "We're leaving!"

At the end of the hall I turned right and saw the heavy, wooden doors open. My family was standing on the lawn which glowed yellow in the sunshine. My brother and father were in fine suits, my mother and grandmother in beautiful dresses.

As I made my way out the door I heard my name. But it wasn't my mother's voice. It was a calm voice. There was a thick Austrian accent. I looked to my right into my grandfather's study. Hundreds of books lined the shelves, some new and crisp looking, some tattered and old. My grandfather was sitting on the couch in shorts and a t-shirt. He had his glasses on and he was deep in a book. He looked up, his wrinkled face still alive with brilliance and light of energy and knowledge. "I'll see you around," he said and he smiled.


And I got in the car to go to his funeral.