Sunday, June 2, 2013

Moments of Profound Being

Some people believe dreams to be no more than one's mind "defragmenting" or cleaning up--filing experiences garnered during the course of one's day into some repository in a person's mind. I believed that to be true, too, and--in some instances--I still do. I think those dreams we don't remember--other than we dreamt something--justify that description.

However, dreams that repeat or contain similar subjects or ideas fall into a different realm. I don't know what to call those vivid dreams, but I do believe they have an important significance, a message meant for no one but she or he who dreamt it.

When my mom first became ill and was in the hospital, I had a dream in which I was in an elevator at the hospital. Also in the elevator was a woman, an elevator operator dressed in uniform, and I was telling this woman about my mom. The elevator operator told me that my mom was dying.
This was the uniform, except the operator was a black woman.
I awoke, understanding this to be true. This message was meant to help me prepare myself and my mom for the inevitable end of life. Her life. My mom is the woman who gave me the life and skills to do what I'm doing at this moment: writing a blog entry. She also has taught, and continues to teach, me a lot about life and living it well.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom told me that my father had crawled into bed with her when she was sleeping--she prefaced this statement with the introduction, "I know this is going to sound weird...." She said that she didn't know how they would both fit into the small twin hospital bed in which she sleeps at the nursing home, but that they managed. She seemed to reassured by this visitation: her husband, my father, was around. I, too, was glad that Dad was sticking close to her. She misses him so much.

Earlier this week, I had another elevator dream, but this one involved my father helping me to find a place for my mom to live (she's been saying that she wants to move for the past two weeks.) We were in this tram-like elevator, and I was asking my dad something about the floors--how we would know what floor we were on and where we were at in the building--and he said that there were no floors, only levels, as in areas. As Dad and I were talking, the elevator was taking right and left turns.

Last night, I had a dream that my mom's roommate at the care center had passed--this would mean that my mom could have a room with a window view, which is what we've requested when one comes available. I was searching for my mom at the nursing home to be able to tell her this, but I couldn't find her.

Am I sad at the prospect of not having my mom in this life? Yes, of course I'm sad. I'm scared, too: my mom's passing, whenever it happens, will result in a lot of changes. I will miss her, and I will be the only surviving member of my immediate family. I will feel lonely, but I know I will not be alone.

As I was remembering last night's dream, I was also feeling really happy: I'd just finished reading students' self-reflection/evaluations of their writing development, and several of them stated how much they'd grown as writers. Because of their support and the sincerity of their written voices, I believe this to be true. I was feeling gratitude that I was able to help these students; in my own way, it seemed I had helped young people to make this world a better place for future generations. This idea made me feel very, very blessed.

At that moment, when I was feeling this deep, heartfelt gratitude, I saw a large shadow of a big bird flying over my house.
When I could see the bird, it was a crane--a white crane. Those of you familiar with the Anishinaabe doodem, cranes are those who negotiate--the communicators who strive to facilitate peace and understanding between people.

I was awake for this vision, and its message was clear to me.