Thomas heard a noise and wheeled himself over to the dining room to take a closer look. He heard a group of them singing the song “The old folks at home,” and then a man began to read. “Stephen Foster wrote this song about how no matter how far we travel or what sadness the world imposes on us, all our hearts ache for the best memories of childhood, the security of a family and parents, and the familiarity of a home.”
Thomas was very moved by these words but trying hard not to show it. That statement described exactly how he felt, and he often found himself springing up in bed in the middle of the night and calling for his mother and father. Most of the time he knew they weren’t around anymore, but it was just that he didn’t always feel safe. Something had happened to his mind but he didn’t know what it was and it often frightened him. He remembered his mother so vividly in the dress she wore around the house and how she used to make cookies for him after school sometimes. He shook off these thoughts and tried to stay in the present, he was a physician after all, and he had raised a family of his own, hadn’t he? He couldn’t exactly remember, but he did remember his brothers and sisters, and again he closed his eyes and drifted back.
This time he saw his older brother running though a marsh with his fishing pole and how he was doing his best to keep up with him. They had spent the day at the pond swapping stories and catching fish and it had been one of the happiest days of his life. Later coming back to their home he remembered how his brother had told his father how well he had done and how great he had felt that day.
He snapped back to the present and he heard them singing another song and he couldn’t believe they would interrupt him like this.
“You wandered down the lane and far away, leaving me a song that would not die,” they went on, and then the man began to read again.
“Hoagie Carmichael wrote the song “Stardust” about the pang of nostalgia he felt upon visiting his old college campus and seeing the old spots where couples used to go to steal those precious moments alone.”
And again he was amazed at how moved he was by this comment. He too got nostalgic thinking about those old college days and yet just now he couldn’t remember them. He closed his eyes tightly and tried to remember but again he was back in his childhood and saw her sitting across the room, Katie Callahan, his first love, and he remembered her so vividly he could truly see her. She had been the prettiest girl in the class and when she chose to sit with him at lunch that day he thought he was the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. He hadn’t thought about her in years, and now he couldn’t get her out of his head. What was going on with his mind, he wondered? But it was no matter; it had been a very pleasurable afternoon and one he hoped he wouldn’t forget. That night when he called for his parents in bed the nurse came and held his hand and he felt better. He knew the memories would come back sooner or later, and when they did he would be happy again. He drifted back to sleep, dreaming of his youth and the wonderful times he had had as a child.