Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Dream


I was so very tired. It was the kind of weariness that exhausts the body, brain, emotions and will. "There is only one thing I have to do," I thought as I pulled into the driveway. "I just need to sleep. Forever, I think. Yes, forever would be good." I stumbled out of the car and, on autopilot, closed and locked the door, felt for the house key and walked up to the door. I didn't even remember unlocking and opening it, or putting my backpack down. I only knew I was next to my bed, and it looked oh so inviting. Sitting on the side of the bed I pulled off my shoes without unlacing them, dropped them on the floor, pulled back the blankets and bent, pushing my feet, legs, body under the covers. I sighed as my head rested on the pillows, and then there was nothing. Hours passed, but I did not have any awareness of them. I was not aware of anything at all. I was asleep.

It wasn't much longer before I was aware of light, though my eyes were still closed, and my mind almost completely turned off. Odd thing about the light. There was no color to it other than light. Now I was awake enough to open my eyes. My bed felt so unusually comfortable, and I snuggled even further into the blankets, grabbing them with both hands and pulling them up around my shoulders and over my chin. Mmmm, that felt so nice. I closed my eyes for just a moment, then opened them slowly, willing my lids to move. 

 "Mama," I said softly and affectionately. How are you, Mama?" Mama was the name I gave my great-grandmother when I was a baby. It was all I could say of whatever the big people were trying to get me to say, and it just stuck. Such a beautiful woman, my Mama. She looked at me through her round, gold framed eyeglasses and smiled that smile that showed her complete joy at seeing me. 

"She must have come in while I was sleeping," I thought, "and sat down to wait for me to wake." That was like her. She would look upon me with love and just wait rather than call my name or gently shake me into consciousness. "Yes, she is so beautiful. What a gift for her to surprise me like this, and come visit." I looked at her smile, her white hair pulled back into braids and wrapped around her hair, noticing the ever-present unruly wisps of white that just would not stay in the braids or pins. She was sitting in the wood and dark leather chair, next to the small dresser with the doily on top, and the white lamp with the delicate flowers painted on it, topped with a fringed lamp shade. Behind her was the corner book case, full of books behind two glass doors that kept the dust off. Her dress was a flowered button-front with short sleeves and a slight lace collar. The print of her dress was small flowers in reds and blues on a green fabric field.

"How are you, Emma, my dear?" she asked.
"Mama, I am feeling great because you are here. Who brought you to visit? Is Grandpa in the living room?"

"No dear, no one here other than me. I thought you could use seeing me, so I came."

"Oh Mama, how could you have known? I realized not too long ago that you were the first person to really love me. Not mom or dad, but you. It was such a wonderful thing to realize, you loving me. I can feel it. I can feel that love, Mama."

"Emma, do you remember the cookies I used to make for you?"

"Yes! Yes. Big round sugar cookies, warm from the oven and spread with butter. You always made them for me when I came to visit you."

"Oh, you do remember! Yes, because I love you. You have always been special to me, and don't think for a moment it is because you are named for me. I could see how much love you had inside, I could see so much promise in you. I loved you as if you were my own baby, toddler, and little girl."

"Mama, I love you too. I always have. Knowing you love me gives me strength, and sometimes even the ability to be daring, trying something new. With all life has handed me, you have kept my sanity for me. Love does that, you know," I told her.

"I know. I always watch over you in my heart. I will strength and peace to you, but I want to tell you something. I'm sure you already know, but I think you need to hear anyway. I can watch and love and will things to be different, but actually, I cannot change a thing for you. You must keep looking to God, Emma. No matter what, hang on to Him. He is the one who kept your sanity, and even your life. He loves you more than I ever could. Some day you will know that."
"Oh Mama, I know. I do forget quite often, and instead, worry myself sick, but in my head I know God is what I hang on to, always, no matter what is going on in my life. But I need you to understand that knowing you loved me, even when no one else did, is a precious thing that has sustained me even when I had a hard time remembering you. It's hard when we live so far apart, to always remember that love. But I love you back just as much as you love me, and I will always know that about you."
Yellow sunlight came in my room and through my eyelids, waking me up. I felt a little disoriented, and looked to the right side of my bed, at my dresser. There it was, the picture of Mama, sitting in a wood and dark leather chair, smiling at me in her flowered dress and white, wispy hair, and loving me. I laid my head back on the pillow and looked up at the ceiling. Quietly, tears began to roll down my cheeks while loneliness, love and gratefulness for her and her love grew in my heart.

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