Monday, February 28, 2011

The Red Room

This one room had been many different rooms my entire life. My earliest memory of this room was when I was about six or seven. It was my parent's bedroom then. I don't remember the color of the walls or carpet but I remember the oversized furniture for the tiny little room. The queen size bed took over the entire room and had a brown and cream patterned bed spread. My mom's long dark wooded dresser with the large mirror took over the one wall. I remember standing on my parent's bed, my mom putting my long hair up in a neat tight bun. It was the night of my third dance recital.

I stood on the huge dark wooden bed with the large head board and round wooden balls on each corner at the foot of the bed. I was already in my costume. It was a shiny red leotard with big white polka dots and big puffy sleeves. Over the leotard was a tutu skirt that matched the leotard. White tights and a white sailor hat completed the costume. My mom had just finished jabbing in the last bobby pin. I remember looking at myself in the big mirror with all the makeup on and thought about how much older I looked.

Shortly after, my parents were tired of the small room and moved my brother into their room and they moved upstairs. I can only remember my brother’s room being green with green carpets. And it was small and cramped again. Being the little sister I didn't venture into my brother's room. It was his space and I didn't want him in my space just as much as he didn't want me in his.

My brother grew up and moved out and shortly after I did as well. My father decided to turn my brother's room into an office. I spent one night in that room. One night when the walls were freshly painted deep red and the hardwood floor was brand new. The whole room smelled new again. The only furniture in the room was my childhood bed. Alongside the bed laid my overnight bag and a shoe box. And on the door, there hung a big white garment bag. It was the last night I would spend in my parent’s house. The last night I spent single. I had lain in that dark room wondering what Patrick was doing. If he was lying awake thinking about the next day as I was. What would the next day be like? I couldn't believe that the day was finally here.

The next day, the red room was the room that I slipped into my white wedding gown while my bridesmaids laughed and chatted around me. I stood there listening to them and thought how funny it was that they all blended into the red wall with their red dresses on. In this room I left my childhood years and my pink Skechers for my apple red heels to become his wife.

Just over three years later I sat in this very room alone again. The room was still red but filled with office furniture. My dad's large oak desk sat in the middle of the room. Pictures of Elvis and awards he was proud of on the walls. I curled up in his office chair holding on to his bent up gold wedding band. My father was still in the hospital bed in the next room. We had just stood around him saying one last prayer when I looked out the window and saw the Hearse coming down the street. I lost control. I couldn't do it. I retreated to his space. I sat in his chair holding the only special item of his that I could find. I knew this day was coming, but not this quickly. I thought we still had more time with him. This is the room that I sat on that hard wood floor in the next few days and went through boxes of pictures. This is the room that I silently said good bye to my father.

This was written for the Red Dress Club's Remembe(red) memoir writing prompt. This week we were asked to write about a room from our past, to visualize it and to take our readers there.

Constructive criticism is welcome. Be kind, I'm still new to writing and this was my first try at a memoir!


  1. I am glad you had that place to retreat to when you needed comfort. So sorry for the loss of your father.

  2. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your father.
    I lost my father when I was just two years old and I know firsthand that there are times when you truly need your dad.

    I'm so happy that you linked up with us and I look forward to reading more of your writing.

  3. im glad you told us about this special room, and how it gave you special memories and a sense of comfort. Beautifully written!

  4. This was really special. Thank you for sharing such a touching account of that room and your life. So beautiful. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. :(

  5. Quite a post for a 'first post' you say!
    Look forward to being a regular on your contributions. TRDC is amazing, I am a reader not a writer here, but I am in awe of the talent!

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. I loved that your room shared so much love and hope and was able to comfort you in your sadness.

  7. What a lovely tribute to your father. Well done!


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