Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blessings of a Bed

I wonder how much time I have spent in my bed over the past two years. I don't want to think about it too much, but I know I have spent far more time there than the average person spends in bed. I have become very familiar with my ceiling and three bedroom walls. In my bed I've laughed, cried, slept, dreamed, read, prayed, talked and played. I've thrown up, been poked with needles, hooked up to a feeding tube and a PICC line. For a person who has spent so much of her life during the past years on an unremarkable full-size mattress and box springs, can you imagine how exciting it would be to get a new bed?

That very exciting thing has happened to me! I received the gift of a new bed, which was delivered to my home on Monday. It is approximately seven feet high, which makes it very regal, and what a billowy top! With the delivery of a new bed comes the excitement of hope: hope that I'll sleep better and, consequently, feel better. I have a new view: less of the ceiling and more of the gorgeous scene out my window. And, as much as I love my new bed, I hope I will be spending less time in it than I spent in my previous bed.

I realize I am very blessed to have a nice, new bed. Most people in this world do not even own a bed, let alone a new billowy and tall one.

My earliest memories of a bed are sleeping on the bottom bunk bed, under my older sister. I had an imaginary friend on one of the wood slats above me. My parents would put me to bed on that bottom bunk. I would sometimes pretend to be asleep by making very convincing snoring noises (honk-shoo, honk-shoo). Boy, did I fool them! It was not unusual to find me in the top bunk with my sister the next morning.

Later, my older sister was upgraded to her own bed, which meant I moved to the top bunk. My younger sister slept beneath me, although she often found her way up to my bed. We would frequently get in trouble for giggling or playing instead of sleeping. One particular giggly night, my dad decided it would be a good punishment to make us each sit silently on a different stair. I think he hoped we'd get so tired there that we would beg to go back to our beds. For a while our suppressed giggles came out as little snorts. Then I just became bored. I watched the neighbors' houses out the front window and thought about all the scary things which were lurking in the dark. Eventually my dad caved and sternly sent us back to bed, with not one more noise to come out of our mouths.

Later I was upgraded to my own room and bed. The bed and dresser were passed down from my great-grandma. It was white with small flowers, painted green and yellow. I wished I had a secret tunnel to crawl from my closet to my sister's closet. At least we could knock on the wall to send each other messages.

In my teenage years, there were again changes to rooms and beds. I got a pink bed skirt with ruffles and my pink pillow cases had ruffles to match. Bliss.

Before my senior year of high school, my family moved to a new house and my bed moved with me. Not long after, I moved to college, where I slept in a number of ridiculously decrepit mattresses. At least with these, I could rise the bed on cinder blocks to make some room for storage (my laundry basket, suitcase and printer box).

When I lived in Paris, I sometimes would sleep on the floor, hoping it would be the lesser of two evils. It was colder on the floor, but my protruding mattress springs would leave bruises. One night on the floor, I was awoken by a full moon's light, pouring though my dormer window. I got up and gazed at the Paris night sky. The world looked peaceful and at rest. I opened the window to breathe in the crisp, cool air. I was reluctant to go back to bed, afraid I would forget the magical scene.

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