August 22, 2020 — Something strange happened to me Wednesday evening. I cannot explain it.
We were watching either the DNC or Major League Baseball. I honestly don’t remember because I was listening to an Audible book on my phone and playing a video game on my tablet. My husband and I watch the Boob Tube together every night and sit at opposite ends of our
comfortable reclining couch.
Both of us have been known to fall asleep there, especially after a large meal. I do not think, in retrospect, that I was sleeping.
I rested my right hand on the end of the sofa. I felt a hand resting on top of my arm, patting me slowly. This was a familiar gesture from my mom. She died at age 79 in February 2012 after battling dementia for more than a decade. I couldn’t see her, but I could feel her comforting, warm hand on my arm. It was Mom’s left hand, and she wore her tiny diamond ring between two gold bands so thin they had been soldered together. While I saw the wedding set in my mind, I knew at the same time that they were in a drawer two rooms away.
My eyes, or my mind’s eye, followed up the course of her arm, and I saw her smiling at me, in a simple green outfit I remember from the 1990s. Her smile was glorious and so welcome. At my conscious level, I know she has passed on, and I know she couldn’t be standing there, because of the table where I saw her. Was I asleep? I can’t say. I don’t know. What I do know is that it doesn’t matter to me, because in my mind’s eyes she touched me, and I saw her smile.
People on my dad’s side of the family are dreamers, and I mean literal dreams. Some of us talk in our sleep, sleepwalk, and have crazy, mixed-up dreams. I have these dreams, but I never dream about my mother. My inability to find her in dreams has disappointed me since her death. After my maternal grandmother died a quarter-of-a-century ago, I often saw her in dreams. Sometimes these dreams were grand, like the first one after her funeral. I dreamed that my maternal grandmother was swimming on north Clearwater Beach, a place that was special to both of us. The dream was so vivid–I could feel the cold water splashing at me, I could hear her voice telling me she was beautiful, and I could sense the hot sun on my back. That dream was in 1994, and I can remember it like it happened last night.
I accept the traditional Christian version of heaven and hell, though I widen the lens because I believe there is only one God, and all roads lead to Rome. I am quite curious about “the other side,” but have no answers. I’ve always been curious about it, but I won’t know until I know. I remember having long discussions with a former pastor about “will we know our loved ones on the other side?”
Curious about how others see it, three times in my life, I’ve consulted psychics and seers. The In Clearwater, Florida, several friends and I hired a psychic to come to my house. She arrived two hours later. She is going to tell my future but can’t find my house? The second time was in New Orleans, Louisiana, and after one Hurricane I didn’t pay much attention. The last time was recently on a whim, referred by a friend. This person says she talks to the dead on the “other side” but she doesn’t predict the future. What she said is for another time. Mostly, I’ve found it to be smoke and mirrors. But I don’t know.
I’m not sure it matters whether it was a dream, or a vision concocted by my mind. I don’t care. I accept it as a gift.
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I wish you all peace and comfort. And if you aren’t a frontline worker, you can support them or others. Send a note, send an email, call an old friend, and donate to your local food bank.