As I sit here in the calmness of my home on this cool April evening … while the incense burns and the fresh air flows through me, I am peaceful. I can breathe now, where this morning I could not. So many tears have fallen from me since this morning, even before I awoke that my face is tired. Do you believe in dream visitations? I do. I believe in them because I experience them, and last night’s visitation from my grandmother who raised me was the most powerful one I’ve ever had. She visits in my dreams every so often, but I can never interact with her. I can see her, or feel her presence, but rarely if ever have I been able to interact with her or hear her voice. I’ve never once been able to touch her or smell her.
This morning I was with her. At first it was just that we were talking on the phone – something that we once did every day. She was asking me to look for matching antique oak bedside tables. She asked, “You know what oak looks like…” and I cut her off with laughter and said, “Of course I do. How could I be raised by you and not know what oak side tables look like?” and we trailed off with laughter. My grandparents dealt in antique furniture and had a refinishing business. In my dream I looked for them for her, but I couldn’t find what I knew she wanted.
Then there was an empty plane – I had a view of the empty seats as if she’d been there and had taken a photo of from where she sat before anyone else had boarded, and I thought … how wonderful it is that she’s traveling.
Then I was in a strange apartment somewhere, sitting at a table. I was being willed to draw something, and as I sat there letting this drawing come through me through the pencil and on to the paper, I saw an arm start to take shape. I could feel her presence there, behind me, watching. I said to her, in response to a thought she sent to me in that moment, but never spoke out loud, “Well you don’t have to worry over where to go now. You can finally come and stay with me. It’s settled.” Suddenly I was finished, but the drawing didn’t make sense. Not until I realized that I had drawn it upside down. In one long flowing slow motion swoop of a moment, as I turned the drawing right side up I realized I had drawn her sitting in her green chair by the front door of our old house, wearing her bifocals with her elbows perched on the chair arms and her legs crossed in polyester pants. I could feel her come to life behind me, and as I turned I said to her, “Look Grandma, it’s YOU!”, and there she was. We faced each other, and I lost my breath at the site of her familiar green eyes meeting mine. Both of us filled with such excitement and disbelief. I smiled from the inside out. The moment became very sudden and urgent. We both knew we didn’t have much time. I instantly collapsed into her and threw my arms around her, and I cried so hard. The tears fell and my body shook, and she held on to me and I said, “I’ve missed you SO MUCH”. My eyes filled with tears and wrenched closed with such force. My face lay heavily against her fragile shoulder, and I felt like a child in a woman’s body. I felt her holding on to me. I smelled her hair. I felt her breathing. She was WITH ME in that moment. She cried. We held on so tightly. I could feel wakefullness coming to me as she said with such weight and emotion with shaking in her voice, “Oh Erin”. I thought maybe I’d forgotten her voice, but she sounded just as I remember. Her voice was the strength of a beautiful memory ringing in my ear. All I could say to her was, “Thank you Grandma…thank you…”
Such relief fell over me that she’d finally found her way to reach me or that I’d finally been listening carefully enough to allow her to come through to me. We held on as my eyes began to flutter slowly open, but I didn’t want to leave her. I wanted more time. I wanted to stay there with her. I had so much to tell her about my life. About Sky and how proud she would be of her. About Cory and our travels. About how I’ve finally found happiness after the life she knew I had lived before. And most of all how sorry I was about the state of things between us when she left.
As my eyes opened I was still saying, “Thank you”. It all slipped away, and then she was gone. I was awake and she was gone. The real tears I cried in that dream with her are the very tears I continued crying as I awoke. I sat up and I kept crying. My tears were our connection from her world to mine. I have cried them all day and I cry them even now as I write this. Some of them are certainly from the sorrow of having lost her, but more than that, they are for the happiness of knowing that I got that “one more moment” that we all wish we could have. We were together. She was with me. I got to hold on to her, and I got to smell her, and I got to see her face and hear her voice and feel her touch and hear her cry.
So what’s different now? Why is this one so much more powerful than any other? It’s different and it’s more powerful, because now she is truly with me. I no longer feel that disconnection of being lost in transit with no way to ever get to her. I now know that we can see each other in my dreams if we really want to. I now know that she doesn’t doubt how much I will always love her or how I will always carry her with me in my heart. I now feel forgiven. I know she does too, and nothing has ever felt so peaceful.
Do you believe in dream visitations? I do. I believe in them because I experience them. I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world.