December 29, 1996 is a date that will never be forgotten nor will the day leading up to and several days after. It was the day that my mom passed away. Her 19th anniversary was just a few short days after this past Christmas.
As a child, Christmas was filled with anticipation and pure joy. I remember as a kid feeling like I was going to burst as we got closer to Christmas morning. But I also remember family, family traditions, gathering together and being loved by many. My mom was the center of all of that. She handled all the preparations (making cookies, gift buying, gift wrapping, grocery shopping, organizing and hosting the day, and preparation of dinner). Grandparents would arrive and we would all be together celebrating.
My grandma passed away on August 29, 1994. My grandpa passed away on January 30, 1995. And their daughter, my mom passed away on December 29, 1996. I was extremely close to all three of them and losing all three within 1.5 years was extremely hard. Christmas has never been the same.
With my own children now, I try and give them the Christmases I remember but deep down there is a missing piece. That piece that my mom gave our family can’t ever be replaced.
Over the last 19 years I have wished that I could have just one more conversation, one more hug, one more argument with my mom to make it real again. Through the years with the ups and downs of marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, work/life balance, etc. I have often wished that I could hear something from her just one more time. There was a moment just a couple weeks after I got married which I will share on another day but that was 15 years ago.
My wish came true last Friday night. Apparently, I dream very vividly according to my sister. I thought everyone did but as I described my dream I could remember very specific things that I guess most people don’t generally remember.
Here is my dream. I dreamt that I was at a house, not any house I know today but it seemed like an older house, on a small street almost a country feel to it. The street was very narrow like the one in It’s A Wonderful Life. There was a lot of snow and high snow banks on either side of the road. I was looking down the street and saw a man lying under his small blue car with his head facing out. At first I thought he was working on something so I didn’t think twice. The next time I saw him though I had a feeling that something was wrong, that he was stuck or injured. A saw a huge bus trying to get down the snow covered street, slipping and fishtailing. It fishtailed right into the man and his car. The next thing I know someone was with me and we had the man in front of us who was badly injured. I ran to the house to call 911. That was the last time I saw the man in the front of the house.
I then remember thinking I needed to get away feeling emotional and stressed from that situation. I wanted to be alone so I went into the backyard of this house. I was sitting there looking out into the backyard. I started to look up and on my right was a tall vacant building. The very top floor had a corner window that was open and you could see through and out another corner window in the back of the building.
As I looked up I thought I saw something in the window. I thought it was odd because the building was definitely vacant. As I squinted to see better I saw a person who became much clearer. It was my mom years ago before I knew her. I had seen pictures of her in her younger years. As I looked the younger version turned into an older version that I would have known. As I realized that it was my mom I yelled out to her, “Mom, Mom.” She looked right at me, with this incredible smile on her face. A smile that I had never seen on my mother before. It was incredibly pure and filled with joy. When I yelled her name she put her hand out to me. I thought she was reaching to me but then she put her thumb up and raised her arm. And as fast as that happened she was gone.
I woke up, laid there very still, and tears slowly dripped down my face. I was afraid to move for fear that I would forget what I had just experienced. I laid there for about half an hour going over and over the dream and what had happened so not to forget a second of it.
Everyone will have their own interpretation of the dream but for me it was my mom telling me she was doing great hence that smile. The thumbs up was her letting me know I was ok too in her opinion. She made sure I would recognize her and once I did and called out her name she disappeared.
I hope I never forget this small moment because for me it was the biggest moment during a time in my life that I really needed it. That is partly why I am writing it in my blog. I want to have it to remind me during tough times that my mom is still watching over me. And I am ok!
I wish you many small moments in 2016. Love to hear about them so feel free to share.