Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Yellow Chair


“What did you say, Sam?” I asked. Sam plopped on my bed in his usual position and responded definitively, “Bahamas.” I glanced at his iPod to see if he was watching something about the Bahamas. He was watching Blues Clues - something about Side Table wanting to be in a show. Nope. Nothing about the Bahamas.

“Bahamas,” Sam said again, making it clear this was the topic he wanted to discuss. Sam had never mentioned the Bahamas before. I didn’t know he knew the word, let alone the place. That mattered little. When Sam wants to talk, we talk.

"OK. The Bahamas." I said. "What about the Bahamas?" Sam responded, "White sandy beaches. Turquoise water."

I laughed and said, "Yes you are right. Are you a travel agent?" Maybe he had seen some TV ads or a video on YouTube. "Tell me more about the Bahamas," I asked.

Sam added in rapid succession: 

"Big window. 
Blue slide. Yellow slide.
Yuck in the water.
Bubble in the water.
Under in the sea.
Under the bridge.
Yellow chair."

Wow. A lot of information. I had a feeling it related to something but I didn't know what. 
Why were the Bahamas on Sam's mind? Sam had visited the Bahamas two times, true, but the last trip was well over ten years ago. I'd never seen evidence he remembered back that far. So what was this sudden interest in the Bahamas?  Where did a yellow chair fit in? 

I tried to get Sam to chat a little more but for Sam, the conversation was over. He had turned his attention back to Side Table and her problem about getting a chance to perform in the show. 

This morning something clicked. I had recently scanned some photos and loaded them onto my phone. Sam always plays with my phone. Buried in with the recent photos was this:
The yellow chair. Taken in the Bahamas when Sam was five. A few photos later was this:

Taken under one of the bridges in Atlantis, the fish blowing bubbles.

Though I only had these three pictures, it was all there. All of it: the yellow chair. The blue slide and the yellow slide. The bridges. Walking "under" the sea. The fish and their bubbles. Everything. Even "yuck in the water" (seaweed to the unenlightened). Sam was describing a trip to Atlantis we’d taken many years ago. A trip I haven’t mentioned to him in many years. And he wanted to share his memories with me. Wow. Lesson learned. Sam remembers. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. And wow. 

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