When I was born, my mother and father lived in a small apartment. The landlord lived in an adjoining apartment and controlled the thermostat. In the morning, after a cold winter's night, there was always a thin layer of ice on the dog's water dish. The warmest room in the apartment was the bathroom, and so on those cold nights when my twenty year old father went off to work the late shift at the DuPont factory, my nineteen year old mother would bundle she and I up in blankets, and we would sleep in the bathtub. Sadly, there's no family picture of a young mother and her baby snuggled together there in that porcelain tub. Such a picture would be a treasure to me now, and such a picture might also prove whether a recurring dream I've had for as long as I can remember is fact or fiction. In this dream I'm frightened by a little square of darkness that hovers above me, and then happily dazzled when that little square of darkness becomes a brilliant display of golden sunshine refracting through a little window covered with delicate patterns of frost.
Patty Lee Jensen, December 2, 1929 - August 29, 2012.