and the old people shall dream…

My father’s youngest sister, my Aunt Bernadette, whom we all call Bernie, was standing in the kitchen with her daughter-in-law, Mary, when I arrived at my cousin Tom’s home to join in the celebration of his 55th birthday. 

Bernie was a bit surprised to see me as it was only by chance that I was invited.  Just on a prod of my intuition I went into Mary’s office Friday after a dental appointment nearby to ask how Tom was doing after rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.  We had an enjoyable visit during which she mentioned Tom’s birthday and the small gathering at their home to celebrate and that I was welcome. 

Bernie went on saying she had recently dreamed of me.  In the dream she had a small square swimming pool – the water was not clear and she was preparing to add the chemicals to clean it when I popped up in the water, having myself a “good old time” she said.  She called me to come out since she wanted to toss in the chemicals for cleaning it.

As others arrived and we were soon filling plates with sloppy joes and potato salad, I sat across from Bernie at the dining room table.  We were the seniors in the group.  After she told me her dream and we both shrugged having no idea what that may have been really telling her.  She said she had a previous dream of someone falling through the ice while ice skating and so she wondered if this was about water and what it means.  I proceeded to tell her about the dream that her daughter, my cousin Theresa had about me that tickled her so much she called me in the middle of an afternoon to tell me about it.  In the dream I owned a mansion and was directing the redecoration of it.  In that dream I mentioned that my mother, long deceased, helped me select the curtains.

We went on to speak of my mother, Bernie and I, and she said she had no doubt but that my mother is definitely in heaven because of a dream she had shortly after my mother’s passing.  This was my first hearing of that dream, which I believe was really a visitation.  She said she saw my mother and that she looked beautiful and very happy and that Bernie, in her joy, shouted out “Rose!  Rose you’re here!  Wait, I will tell everyone!”  Then in the quiet of her heart Bernie knew that my mother was not there.

I went on to tell her that when my daughter was an infant, a couple were visiting us in California, the men were in the front room and my friend and I were in the baby’s room.  I was sitting on the rocking chair and my friend was chattering away.  I held my daughter snugly in my arms, rocking.  A feeling came over me that clung like a thick cover hanging so I could no longer focus on the words of the friend sitting on the bed.  Finally I said, “I cannot really hear what you are saying, because I am overwhelmed by the feeling of death.  I just want to hold my baby close.”  The next morning my father phoned to say that his mother died.

I then shared a dream that I feel was also a visitation, since it is as clear to me today as on the night it came to me nearly forty years ago.  I dreamed that I was walking from my apartment to the carport behind the building and I saw a young woman with short cropped dark hair, leaning with one foot propped up on the bumper of a car behind her, her arms folded across her chest.  She was smiling at me very warmly and I knew that this was my paternal grandmother and that she just wanted to let me know that she was fine.

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