We were with my grandfather in his backyard, her standing and looking at me, and my grandfather in his favourite outdoor chair, playing with cats that wouldn't do as they were told. I told her about the arguments my sister and father had been going through, about my therapy, about the realizations I was having, about the conclusions I was tumbling toward. They listened, as they always did, as I ran through everything that was swirling through my head.
What made this one so different from the others was that all along, I knew she was dead, and I knew it was a dream.
"I've been waiting for you to come to me," I said, "Not just as a side player in some larger story, but as the star, for a real visit. They say I'm supposed to feel you everywhere, all the time, or at least when I need you most, but I don't. You're there, and I'm here and that's how it is. But this, this is what I meant."
She nodded, and we hugged and I thanked them both for listening and for visiting and for just... being there. Letting me catch them up. Allowing me a moment to unload.
And then I was awake, everything fading rapidly except for the feeling of fullness, contentment, rising out my chest. Of course, writing this, it now feels like a tugging, grasping ache, a tidal wave of desire to be right back on that sunny lawn with those I love and two bizarre little kittens. But in that moment - it felt like being home again.
I'm not a big believer in religion or spirits or anything like that, but I hope you'll forgive me my little indulgence today and allow me a moment to think that maybe, a little message made its way from the great perhaps this morning.
Thanks, mom. Now, if you'll excuse me, the dog's puking yellow again.