A few weeks ago I had woken up early when hubby was getting ready for work. As it was around the time I was still getting used to Monsoon being gone, the feelings were still pretty raw. I fought the urge to cry and fell back to sleep before I too had to be up for work.
I started to dream that I lived in this ramshackle little house with my mother, sisters and grandmother who passed away in 1994. This little house needed some serious updating but it felt so familiar, as if I had already lived there my whole life. That is one thing with dreams; there sometimes is such an air of matter-of-factness that it almost makes you wonder if you really had been there before. There was something very serene about this place but I know I had never been there.
My animals who had passed away were there too. This included a dog of mine from childhood, Monsoon and one other ferret who passed in 2003. Wherever we were we all seem to be safe.
My grandmother, the quintessential old lady (think Estelle Getty’s character, Sophia Petrillo, on The Golden Girls) was going about her business of making beds and folding sheets. She was dressed in her house coat with the deep pockets that in addition to hiding Kleenex and a pair of reading glasses, most likely contained a religious medal or two. I had gone to the window of her bedroom and upon peering out noticed the sky had that ominous look right before a severe thunder-storm. My grandmother was terrified of thunder and lightning in real life as her brother was killed in a freak accident long before I was born when lightning came through the keyhole of the house they were living in in Nova Scotia and struck the sofa he was sitting on. My second cousin, then a child, was sitting on his lap and was unharmed.
I went to find my grandmother to tell her of the impending storm. She just waved her hand at me and told me that it no longer scared her. I remember feeling shocked by that because her fear had been so deep. As a child we were made to sit in the hallway during a storm while she sprinkled holy water on all present. I’m not quite sure she realized the whole water being a conductor of electricity thing but I’m sure she felt as if it gave her some control.
After her statement about not being afraid anymore, I ran back to the same window and saw that the clouds were dissipating and the sky was an unearthly beautiful shade of blue.
While I believe our dreams are mostly our subconscious moving thoughts to the surface as most dreams I know I can trace back to something going on in my life, it does make me wonder at times if there isn’t something more to them than that. I woke up not feeling so sad and I actually felt as serene as I did in the dream. It set the tone for the rest of the day.
“The stars are souvenirs you never lose. The past is never far.”
This was taken on a trip back east to visit my family. We had taken a trip to the local mall and they had one of those photo booths. This is me with my niece. She is a teenager now and just received her driver’s license this year. She is my only blood related niece and she is the first born. I remember when she was born feeling overwhelming in love with her. I guess you never know how much you could ever love another human being until a child comes into your life. Its almost scary.
I believe we shopped that day for school clothes. My sister was with my nephew who was maybe 5 or so at the time. When my nephew saw the picture here of me and my neice, he of course wanted to have one too, so back to the other side of the mall we returned.
What I love about these pictures is that they’ve so perfectly caught each of their personalities. My niece is more reserved. She is a thinker. I can see that in this picture. She is very big into softball these days and even gave up a trip to Florida because she didn’t want to miss a game. Talk about dedication!
My nephew, now in his early teens is big into acting now. He is the life of the party and when he landed the role as Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, he told me he had finally gotten his ‘big break’. LOL. I love the joy on his face in the last picture. It is so complete. We as adults should be so lucky to smile like that and have it be natural.
The two of them have been two of the greatest joys in my life and they are my hope for the future. I keep these pictures on a bulletin board in my laundry room. I remember that day so well. I look at them and think, my, time is going by so fast. They have grown up so much. And man, I look so different from those days, too! I suppose I’ve done some growing up since then as well. At least I hope I have.
This June I will go to visit them and hope to take in my niece’s softball game and also to go to an amusement park with my nephew where we’ll ride roller coasters and eat pizza all afternoon.
Last night I received a call from a friend of mine from back east. He asked if I remembered what I doing thirty years ago this day. Well, I know that I was 12 years old. That was about it. He reminded me that we were sitting in my room watching General Hospital when the broadcast was interrupted by breaking news that President Reagan had been shot. After getting over the shock of the amount of time that had gone by I started to piece together the random particulars of that day.
It was cloudy (it was Boston –go figure). I had changed out of my school uniform and put on cut-off jean shorts despite it being about 50 degrees outside. We walked around collecting money from our neighbors for a school play. I remember feeling giddy in a way but in a nervous way. We knew something was of course terribly wrong that day, but still being children there was a slight air of it all being pretend, like a movie, or better yet, like the soap opera that had been interrupted with the tragic news. Strange times. I still can’t believe how long ago that was and that my friend actually remembered this.
Years later I visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. President Reagan kept a journal of his years in the White House. On display were his thoughts on what had happened to him and his willingness to forgive the man who shot him. I found it to be very touching. I don’t know if I would have the strength to forgive someone who tried to take my life.