Wait a minute now … I thought you were dead

margaret motta and christine motta fariaLast night I had a surprise visit by my mom.

I’ve always thought of these nocturnal stopovers as a gift. Those of you who have lost someone will understand this. No matter how much you love someone, or are used to seeing them every day, once they are gone out of your physical world, nothing, absolutely nothing, can come close to seeing them in the flesh. Pictures and videos are one-dimensional.

Except for dreams.

My dad died when I was 13 and after all these years, I celebrate his infrequent visits. He’s not blurry. I can hear his voice. I’m still his little girl. Sometimes even his hugs feel real. A lot of times I cry the entire dream, just because I’m so happy to see him.

There’s an awareness that I’m not awake …but it feels as close to real as I could hope for. I don’t over-analyze it when it is happening; there’s something in my subconscious that warns me to chill out. To let go of the irrationality of the situation. Or I might cause myself to wake-up.

This dream last night, she’s the youngest I’ve seen her since she died. Her hair is dark, maybe she’s 60-something. She’s happy. She’s sassy. I think she’s been smoking a cigarette. She’s how I want to remember her; not ill, like she was that last year.

I don’t try to analyze the meaning when I wake up … I really don’t want to know the “why” of some of my weird-ass dreams.

Last night my brother and I go to my mom’s old apartment, and she opens the door. We fall back, with “What???? You’ve been here the whole time?”

She tells us she’s been content doing her own thing, reading a lot. She doesn’t offer any explanations, but I get the sense that she didn’t like being worried about. Maybe we were a pain in the ass.

She tells me that she’s gone to my gal at Edward Jones to make sure she’s secure for the next 10 years … the apartment’s paid off. She can enjoy her remaining years without having to worry about it. (Now that was NOT my mom, she didn’t have two pennies to her name). I don’t question money matters in dream world or wonder why my gal hasn’t told me that my mom’s a client.

We hang out, my brother, husband and I and Amber Tamblyn, Charlie’s previously unknown daughter on Two and a Half Men. Spread out on two couches, watching TV,  until it is just her and I awake at 2 AM. No questions about the future. Or the past.

Then I wake up.

I’m sad, as I wanted to be with her longer. I’m happy, I just got to see my mama!

I wonder how I can dream of her more often. But as much as I go to bed thinking about her, or my dad, or on frequent occasion The Rock or Jason Statham, I can’t figure out how to unlock my mind that way. I just had a dream about my dog Ethel. That didn’t take long.

The clock says 4 a.m. and I want to talk about my visitor, but Jim’s sound asleep. So I tell my co-worker Becky when I get to work. She says, “Well, that’s a great way to start of 2014.”


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5 Responses to Wait a minute now … I thought you were dead

  1. One of your best posts, Chris. So sweet, gentle, funny, loving…

  2. Jenna says:

    Ditto what Monica said. Tears in my eyes over here. Xoxo

  3. Tracey says:

    My Mom has been gone two months now. Time took so much away from her but in my dreams she is whole and calm. As you noted it is such a blessing to replace the image of her illness in my head with her “best self”.

  4. arsinoe says:

    Love this. What a gift that she visited you on New Years Day….and your anniversary. Beautifully told my friend.

  5. Tarzan says:

    I think we’ve talked about this post before, but it hits home even harder since my little brother, Eric, visited me in my dreams a couple weeks ago. I lean heavily to Atheist/Agnostic, but still hold out hope that I’m wrong and that there is an afterlife where I will be able to see Eric again. I’ve lost so many that I love dearly (including my Dad), but none have affected me like losing him.

    You really nailed that feeling of knowing it isn’t real, but soaking up as much of the moment as you can because it’s as close as you’ll get. I can’t imagine a moment where I could possibly feel more pain and joy simultaneously and then look forward to the next time.

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