Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sweet Dreams

We were standing in my kitchen. The exact kitchen that I cook in each day. There was a pot on the stove and food on the counter and we were busy preparing a meal. I had a flashback of my second grade school picture and when I looked at the counter there it was. And next to it was a picture of her. We looked alike. I had pig tails and light brown hair in the picture and I had her eyes. She commented how I looked just like her as she smiled slightly and then went back to stirring the pot. I stepped to the other side of her and just breathed her in. This moment of sweet silence between mother and daughter filled me with joy. What a gift to just be near her. I breathed her in and while my mind raced with specific questions all I could speak was, "I have so many questions."

She turned her head and looked straight into my eyes and she smiled. I reached out my hand and I lightly touched her arm. Was there ever a moment that was sweeter? Was there ever a moment that reached deeper into my soul. I was swept up in it and yet it was like pouring honey out of a jar- slow, sweet and quiet. I loved her. All I ever wanted was in that moment; time with my mother that consisted of cooking and smiling and a gentle touch. I was restored and there was no wound in my heart.

I awoke from that dream slowly. I drifted awake and the realness of it, the sweetness of it lingered with me as I lay in bed, processing that it was indeed a dream. It's funny to me that a dream so tender, so meaningful, so light but rich can, for the rest of the day, lay heavy on my heart. But that is exactly what it did.

In that dream was the first time I had ever cooked with my mother. It was the first time in a dream where my mom appeared that I was not yelling. It was the first dream with her, since I was ten years old, that I felt peace and simplicity and joy. And that is what made it so incredibly hard to wake up to the reality of my loss. It is as if life goes on in this fairly straight, nice line. And as more time passes I am used to my routine, my life and my past. I like my life. I am incredibly blessed in so many ways and the Lord has been good to me. But then, a simple dream makes it's mark on a Thursday morning, and I am thrown off balance. The wound I've carried for 19 years feels a little more tender than I am used to and suddenly, I feel a little lonely.

I don't know what I am to take from this experience. I am still processing it. This is what I know- at 29 years old, 19 years after my mother died I still miss her. I still have days when I long to see her and talk to her. And I have moments when I am in awe of the Lord for delivering me from the life that I could have lived had she lived. I drive to the West side of Buffalo every day. I see what the girls wear, how they talk and the strollers that most of them push. How easily that could have been me. Somehow, there was freedom in her death to allow me to live a "normal" life and to grow up in an area where everyone wasn't having babies at 15. There was good that resulted from my horrendous loss (good meaning beneficial, not enjoyable). Oh, but the sweetness to stand beside her all grown up and to cook a meal with her. There are still things that I have to grieve. I thought I had grieved most of them when I first went to counseling. I made a list of all the loss that resulted from the loss of my mother (not having a mom to take me prom dress shopping, go out for coffee with, go Christmas shopping with, teach me how to put on make up, buy the right bra size, coordinate an outfit, know when a guy liked me, encourage me, discipline me, watch chick flicks with, etc). But being a little older there are new things I am realizing I am missing out on.

Perhaps I will need to make a new list and maybe part of what the Lord is trying to teach me is that this is never over. That to think I am just over it is silly and prideful. I will always need to rely on Him for strength and healing and that in the midst of my sadness and loss I can still turn to Him and find His goodness. "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6