My grandmother died in July 2004, just one week before my birthday. We were very close, and talked almost every day. She was more like a mother to me, and I still miss her fiercely. I dream of her occasionally, usually during times of high stress. She will come to me in my sleep and reassure me that everything will be fine. Normally these are definitely dream-like, weird and shifting as dreams can be. One that particularly stands out was amusing. I had entered a large entry hall, the building reminded me of ancient Rome, and my grandmother was standing there. She was about seven feet tall, and her white hair was done up in a beehive which added another foot or so. She was wearing a red silk robe with beautiful stitching. Her arms made her seem alien-like, the fingers reached her knees. She tried to hug me and had trouble using those long arms, like they weren’t hers at all. We both were laughing, and I was still laughing when I woke up.
The best dream was several months ago. I was riding in the car with my grandfather, not sure what our destination was. He stopped at a gas station which was on the same lot as a rundown motel. He pointed to a door and told me to go there; a surprise was waiting for me. At this point I realize I am dreaming, and I’m guessing that my grandmother is in that room. I open the door and look around the room, and think that grandma would hate it here: dark brown carpet that may once have been shag, dingy pale yellow walls, dark brown furniture, curtains closed. I walk into the kitchen and it is just as bad: faded wallpaper with a yellow floral pattern, dark cupboards, scratched and stained formica table, chairs with torn vinyl.
Grandma is sitting there at the table and jumps up with joy to see me. She is wearing her faded jeans and favorite old yellow sweatshirt. We hug so hard that I’m afraid I’m hurting her. We sit at that old table and talk for a while, she asks how I am, how my kids are. I show her recent pictures of them and tell her how well they are doing. We talk about my marriage and how it’s going from bad to worse. We talk about grandpa and how he is holding up. I tell her he’s doing well, but is lonely, and we laugh that he still has her name on his checks. I tell her how much I miss her every day and have no one that I can really talk to like I did with her. We laugh at the motel room, and she’s not sure why we had to meet there. Then she says that it’s time for her to go and we hug again. She reminds me that she is always with me, watching over me, and will visit as often as she can. I check my watch and tell her it’s time for me to go too, I have to wake up and get ready for work now.
I woke up crying. I’m crying now.