Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I dreamed about my mother

It was the first time she appeared in my dreams since she died a year and a half ago, and she looked good. She looked like that picture of her I love, maybe she was even wearing that blue and white dress, and she was making elegant tea sandwiches in my kitchen while talking to me in her gently wise way. At one point she put her hand on my cheek, a soft, cool hand, cradling my face, and even though I can't recall what she was telling me, it was the most comforting feeling ever.

I have had no work since early September. No work at all. I've been hard pressed to fill my days, as I am most grounded when I am working. "You are truly the child of civil servants," my cousin said. "They planted that work ethic in you deep." It's true. Working. Writing. They are my source of balance, my sense of purpose and reason, especially now that my children are all raised and efficiently running their lives without my help. I tried to stay busy, cleaning the house, reading, binge watching The Americans, doing jigsaw puzzles, catching up on doctor visits, getting way too involved with the news, or sitting on a bench in the gardens at twilight with my neighbor and friend.

Yesterday, I got up in the morning, straightened the house, and went down Broadway for a pedicure. I considered a movie on my own, but in the end, just came back home. I lay on my bed, reading JK Rowling's third Cormoran Strike novel, when suddenly I couldn't stand it anymore. I needed work. There is someone I can call for possible projects when I'm at a loose end. I'd hesitated to call because I didn't want to be tied up if another project that I'd been waiting to hear about, and that I very much want to do, actually came through. But I couldn't just sit around anymore. So I opened my laptop, logged in to my email, and there at the top of my messages was an email from my agent saying the subject of the book I was waiting to hear about, was ready to move forward. I think now that my mother was whispering to me not to lose hope.

For no reason, here's a sweet picture I found of my girl and two of her lifer friends, when they were in seventh grade. They were spending the week at their school's farm. Last night, my girl was on the phone with one of these boys for hours. They went to college in the same town upstate, and now he's moved to LA and is working as a writers' PA on a TV sitcom. He calls my girl in the evenings on his commute home. I love how their friendship endures.


  1. I have been thinking so much lately about my complete lack of grief when my mother died. How, even now, I am mostly just grateful that I don't have to worry about her, that she's not going to be on the phone when it rings.
    Now of course, this causes great anguish in me. How can I be this cold? How can I, who cherish my role as a mother more than anything in this world, be so flat when it comes to my emotions about my own mother?
    And I read the words of daughters whose mothers have gone on and how even after death, those mothers comfort them, bring them hope and peace. And then I grieve.
    Not the mother I had who died, but the fact that I never had that mother.
    And then, because I am so conflicted, I wonder once again- was it me?
    Was it me?
    Did I not allow her to love me?
    Oh, sweetie. I guess what I really want to say is that you and I are so much alike and that when you feel the love from your sweet mother, even through the door of such a vast transition as death, I know that such things are possible and that somehow, I feel a little of that hope and love myself.
    I am so glad you have work. I am so glad you are in this world.

    1. Darling Mary, it wasn't you. And what you felt you were missing, you created for your own children. Now that's some kind of alchemy, such a powerful and loving purpose. It humbles me to witness it. It reminds me of that saying, whatever you need, give that. You did that. I wish you could truly feel, moment to moment, how powerfully loved you are in return.

  2. Isn't it amazing how life presents us with what we need? I am happy for you. Your mother will always be with you.

  3. Glad that work is moving ahead :o)

  4. I am happy your mom came to you in a dream. My mom has only come to once in a dream. I wish it would happen more often because I miss her so much.

  5. Sabine put it best. So glad you had a visit in your dreams with your mom. She's always watching over you. I love that picture of your daughter and her friends.

  6. There's so much beauty in your life!

  7. Like you I'm sure that those who we deeply love are tied with us forever. What a wonderful dream! Glad you got a new project to work on.

  8. Perfect timing on the job! It's great how things come together sometimes, isn't it?! And a beautiful picture, as usual. :)

  9. I am so glad you have that dream as a comfort. Dreams can be very real, and when they are nice, that's a good thing. Great news about the job,too.