Is in the hospital. This summer hasn’t been the greatest for her and I can’t express enough how much I wish I was near her. As I type this its just after three in the morning. I can’t sleep. A few things are bothering me, namely a series of dreams I had last night that left me awake and crying into my husband’s shoulder. You know the cry-the kind that is not pretty-the one filled with hiccuping, and runny noses, and seems never ending. I was dreaming about her of course and they made me feel my absence from her that much more.
It was one of those dreams that feel so real you’re not sure what was real and what wasn’t when you first regain consciousness. The sort of dream when you finally do realize it was only a dream you’re either relieved or a little bit heart-sick.
Last night, I found myself in the latter category.
In my dream I was a little girl again spending the night as I often did, with my grandmother. At the time she had two twin beds in her bedroom which meant I got to bunk in with her. Before bed she’d regale me with stories (at my request) of her youth. Long tales depicting forays into the city, where she would go to the cinema with her sister in Boston, about lockets, and boyfriends, and dances. Stories about hard times, growing up poor, musings where she wondered how her mother-my wonderful great-grandmother could manage to spread a pound of ground beef amongst her six brothers and sisters-the secret to which she had never really mastered for her own four children. About cold, blistery winters, and snow. Stories about Christmases past, about a beautiful sister she missed. About dressing up, and curling her hair, about laughter and heartache, and all the other small moments that made her, who she is.
After she’d finished sharing her life’s stories with me, I’d go about telling her some of mine. Stories filled with princesses or mermaids, about vagabonds with knives, or wishes upon stars, and the Easter Bunny.
My grandmother-always the practical no-nonsense sort never told me I was silly to believe in magic or unicorns. In fact she encouraged it. Along with crazy superstitions about penny’s that brought luck when found on the sidewalk face up.
My grandmother who loves to dance. Who, when a tune she liked played on her radio she’d get up and dance, often times pulling me along and twirling me about the same way my mother would often do with me, and how I now do with my own children. Who I can see holding my plump little hand as she took me out for an ice cream cone. Who, after I moved away I would sit and chat on the phone with three or four times a day…It’s amazing how one dream, can spark so much emotion and remind a person of things they haven’t thought of in what seems like forever.
From that moonlit night in my dream, where I can still see her round silhouette laying across from me I next found myself out for a walk with her. When I was little my grandmother and I would go on long, adventure filled walks. Where I’d skip along jumping over cracks (to not break my mother’s back) where she’d stop to talk to a neighbor or a stranger we met a long the way.
My grandmother has the penchant for conversation and could strike one up with anyone, anywhere at any given moment. My little girl-self couldn’t recognize this amazing gift and instead would wait rather impatiently for her to finish-sometimes rudely grabbing and pulling at her hands while exalting “C’mon Grandma let’s go!” She’d smile down at me and say, in a minute and I’d wonder off a bit to do a cart-wheel in some-one’s yard or to pick a hibiscus flower for her.
When we’d finally be off on our walk we’d sometimes go down a long quite street that led to the most magical of places. A park on the ocean, where I could wonder through a wooded area searching for fairies or leprechauns, where I could scale a great coral rock mountain on an adventure, or where we could sit quietly, hand in hand and just stare out at the sea.0