Friday, March 14, 2014

In dreams...

I grew up in a house full of music.  My dad would pull out a stack of LPs, power up the turntable, put the needle down, and crank up the volume.  The air was full of emotion, notes, voices all melding together in beautiful harmony, and I would spin and twirl in the middle of the floor of our den like I was the only girl in the world.  For the most part, the voice I heard was Roy Orbison, a musician my father followed from his adolescence.  This was music unlike what we hear now days; it was real, unaltered, pure and full of humanity.

This morning, one particular song came to my mind, and Roy himself sang every word in my mind.

A candy colored-clown they call the Sandman,
Tiptoes to my room every night.
Just to sprinkle star dust and to whisper, 
"Go to sleep, everything is alright." 

I dreamt of her last night.  I've only had a handful of these type dreams of her since she's been dead.  Most of the ones I had shortly after my mother's passing were about her dying, that we were in a room around her, or that I was trying to find her in a hospital.  They were stressful and unpleasant, so any dream I have of her that is pleasant is such a welcomed blessing.

I close my eyes
And I drift away
Into the magic night
I softly say
A silent prayer
Like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep
To dream my dreams of you.

Last night, we (meaning me, my mother, and my children) were at a store that seemed somewhat like Target.  We walked the aisles of makeup looking at lipstick and blush.  And then I moved over to the card aisle looking for a birthday card for someone.  And after we left the store, my mom and I went to a church to attend a wedding.  It was strange; I didn't know who was getting married, but my mother did, so I was just along for the ride.  And once this wedding was over, we went back to her house and the whole place was decorated for Christmas.  There were trees everywhere, lots of trees, filled with lights and ornaments.  There were even trees hanging upside down from the ceiling and ornaments strung on clear wire hanging down all around us.  It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  I walked around looking at everything, and I finally asked my mom who had done all the decorating.  She said, "Felicia had it done for me."  And then I found myself riding a horse around our old neighborhood in Montgomery, riding down each street.  And then I woke up.

In dreams, I walk with you
In dreams, I talk to you
In dreams, you're mine
All of the time
We're together
In dreams, in dreams

But just before the dawn
I awake and find you gone
I can't help it, I can't help it
If I cry
I remember that you said

And I woke, lying still under the warmth of my covers, eyes shut.  And in that tiny fraction of a second, I felt like I had really been with her, that her very presence was still there, holding on to me.  And it was the most beautiful moment I've had in a very long time.

Perhaps she chose to come to me.  Maybe my Father knew I needed her and so he placed her in my mind as I slept.  I don't know; I never will understand the concept of dreams.  But I needed that time with her so desperately, and it felt so real.  So real.

It's too bad that all these things
Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams
In beautiful dreams.

Friday, March 7, 2014

684 days...

It's been 684 days since my mother died.

Sometimes, I do a quick google search to find out how many days it has been since I lost my mother.  It's part curiosity, but mainly I guess I do it to remind myself of how many days I have made it through without her.  Because before she was gone, I didn't think I could make it one single day.

Six-hundred, eighty four.

There have been good days, filled with laughter and fun.  On those days, somehow I manage to push her loss to the back of my mind, or maybe I find myself doing something that reminds me so much of her that it brings me joy.

There have been days black as midnight, so dark with grief and sadness that I wished them away, for the promise of tomorrow brings about a hope not found in the depths of grief.

Most days have been in the middle, though.  Not too happy, not too sad.  The burden of grief evenly yoked around my neck, not too cumbersome.  It's there, and it's heavy, but it is manageable.

Someone asked me recently how I was doing.  I replied, "I'm doing okay... just getting by."  To this person, my statement sounded sad, and they immediately expressed I needed to do more than merely get by.  But what they don't understand is that I consider it an accomplishment.

To them, I am just getting by.  To me, I have made it 684 days without going insane, without giving in to complete despair and depression, without drinking myself into the ground.  There have been many days I've wanted to curl back up in the bed after my husband and kids have left for the day.  But I haven't.  There have been days I wanted to make a drink at noon and just wash it all away for the day.  But I didn't.  There have been days when the grief and the memories strangely mix together and swirl around in my head in such a way that I think I will go crazy.  But I am still of sound mind.

I have lived in the world 684 days without my mother.  And it has been so hard, probably the hardest days of my life.  And as I look back over them all, I know I have had a Power on my side.  I can't make sense of why He even bothers with me sometimes as much as I let Him down and screw up.  But He hasn't let me go.  And it has been a while since I've just taken a moment to thank Him for what He has done for me.

Jesus... I so graciously thank you for holding me up, for loving me, for saving me in so many ways even though I will never deserve it.  I could not have made it through one single day without You on my side.  Thank you.