A yellow Mustang pulls up outside. A woman gets out, with short-cropped hair and flowing dress. I raise the blinds and blink. Where am I?
The dream still fills me with beautiful laughter – my mother’s and my own.
It was a real dream – different from common dreams, when the mind is trying to make patchwork sense of memory, emotion, and anxiety.
No, this dream was real. Mom and I were sitting in my parents’ bed, in our old townhouse in Maryland.
I asked if she was afraid of dying. Yes, she said, but…
…we are assured that this life is not the end. Every religion and wise person tells us so, in different ways.
True faith means accepting this fact and promise of continuance – without the comfort of knowing all the details.
We don’t know what the next world will be. Or what we will be, when we die. But then again, we don’t know much about tomorrow either.
This Unknowingness allows room for freedom and imagination – and fear and doubt too.
Religion has so often been accused of covering people’s eyes, providing false comfort, ignoring human suffering with the promise of greater rewards to come.
My mother gave me a different understanding last night.
She showed me, through her honest answer and the delight of her presence, that fear and faith are companions, as long as one does not overpower the other.
She also told me: You WILL enjoy food again.
So the conversation turned, from death toward life. She was telling me to have hope and trust in the healing medicine of life-on-earth: plums, river walks, alone-time, and meals with extraordinary friends.
The time of separation will end. And in my dream last night, I got a taste of that beautiful reunion…
Mom flowered into laughter, and I joined in.
I woke, still in darkness, with joy flooding my whole body.
Collage art & text (c) Andreana E. Lefton