My Visitor

So I'm having one of those dreams where at some point you become vaguely aware it's a dream without causing the ending credits to immediately roll. I think it's called lucid dreaming. It doesn't happen to me very often.

It's one of those restless nights where REM sleep just isn't in the cards. Every hour or so I awaken slightly dazed trying to piece together a dream conversation that is playing out in multiple acts. It's uncomfortably hot in the house and we've left the windows open in the hopes that a gentle midnight breeze will gift us with a bit of ocean-chilled air to cool and dry out the sweaty sheets. Neighborhood dogs that we normally would not be able to hear with the windows closed are shattering the silence with their sporadic warning barks -- probably intended for nearby patrolling coyotes.

The dream scene as I remember it is set in a cool dark room with two small chairs facing each other. There are no windows. For that matter, I don't remember there even being any walls which makes no sense if I'm calling it a room. Well, go with me on this.

I'm sitting in one of the chairs.

Across from me in the opposing chair is my mother who in real life passed away in 2010, after a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer. She has visited my dreams several times before but not so frequently that I take the visits for granted or brush them off lightly. I still ruminate for days afterwards hoping to tease out a bit of meaning from these fascinating and seemingly random subconscious intrusions.

Here are a few snippets that I can remember from our conversation:


Mom: Hi sweet doll.

Me: Hi mama. It's been a while since your last visit.

Mom: I know. I'm still not sure how this all works.

Me: That's okay. Are you doing well?

Mom: I think so.


Me: Have you figured out where you are?

Mom: No, I'm not sure. I think maybe I'm dreaming too?


Me: Can you see us at all during the day?

Mom: No, I can't seem to find anybody.


Mom: Can you tell me how everyone is doing?

Me: Yes, but first I have to ask you something.

Mom: Okay.

Me: Do you feel at peace?

<long pause>

Mom: I think so.

Me: Then I'm not sure I want to tell you too many details.

Mom: Oh boy. What does that mean?!

Me: Well, I don't want to ruin your situation. Maybe you should just enjoy it.

Mom: I don't know if 'enjoy' is exactly the right word.


Me: Do you feel lonely?

Mom: No I'm not lonely. More like groggy.


Mom: It's almost like I only remember being here in this room with you.

Me: Mom, I think this is just a dream I'm having. I'm pretty sure this isn't real.

Mom: Oh that's really weird.

Me: I agree. It's not what I expected either.


Mom: I think I must go to sleep or something when you wake up.

Me: Really?!

Mom: I don't remember what happens between these dreams.

Me: Maybe, you visit other people's dreams too.

Mom: Oh for Pete's sakes. Why am I doing that? That's crazy.

Me: Well, it's my dream so I think I'm bringing the crazy here.


Me: I miss you. I like talking to you, but it is confusing.

Mom: I miss you too lamb. I'm sorry I can't seem to snap out of this.

Me: It's okay Mom. Just rest.