Sunday, December 19, 2010

These dreams

Scrambled eggs atop hot buttered toast. That's what I was craving for breakfast the moment I woke up this morning.

It's what my mom always made for me when I was home sick.

I wasn't craving that particular breakfast item because I am sick(I am not), nor because I was feeling nostalgic (which I haven't been).

I think I was craving it because  I dreamt of my Mom last night.  This is unusual for me.  I have not had a dream about my mom in 14 years, since shortly after she died.  Those dreams always consisted of me hearing her voice in the distance and frantically looking for, but never quite able to reach her. In fact she was never actually physically *in* those dreams.  Only her voice and her implied presence somewhere out there, beyond my reach.

My mom has been gone a long time.  I don't miss her or think about her every single day.  I mean I do miss her, but it isn't constantly there, that deep longing that I used to have, as I tried to navigate my way through grief for several years after she died.

It is unusual that I dreamt of her.

It was a short dream, and very surreal(as most dreams are I suppose).  Surreal in the way that we were in my house,( a cozy cottage) sitting at our kitchen table, and I was making her breakfast.  I live in a small one bedroom apartment, and we don't have a kitchen table, and that was partly what made the dream seem surreal to me.  Not the fact that my Mom, who is dead, was sitting there with me.  That part seemed perfectly normal.  Such is the strangeness of dreams I guess.

She was sitting at my kitchen table, and I was making breakfast(which was, you guessed it, scrambled eggs on toast) and she was asking me all kinds of questions.  It didn't feel to me like she had been dead and come back to life, but rather that she had gone away for a long period of time.  She had been gone, for some unknown reason, and now she was back for a short period of time and she was asking me questions hurriedly, in a rapid fire manner as though she had 14 years worth of questions to catch up on and only a short while to gain the answers.

What did I do for  a living?  Did I still work with children?
What about Joe?  Did he ever find a full time position as a professor?
How was Dad? And my brother?  My sister?  How are the kids?  (Why she didn't know how my Dad and brother were but she knew Lisa had kids struck me as odd).
How are Joe's parents?

I don't remember answering any of her questions.  I stood at the stove and stirred the scrambled eggs.  Occasionally I would look over at her and smile, but say nothing and continue stirring.

Then came the question that caused me to cringe.

"How come you never gave me a grandchild"?

I stood there in silence.  Stunned.  Struggling to find the words to explain the last 10 years of our lives.  As I grappled with the words to try and make her understand, I turned from the stove to face her but she was gone.  I felt panicked.  I had to find her. I had to explain.  I looked frantically for her but she wasn't there.

And then I woke up.  At first the dream was fuzzy.  Somewhere in my subconscious.  I got up to go to the bathroom and struggled to remember the details of the dream.  As I slipped back into bed(it was only four a.m.) and drifted back to sleep the dream got away from me and I couldn't remember exactly what is was about.  It wasn't until I woke up several hours later that the whole thing came back to me and I hurried to write it down.

It really brought up a lot of old feelings for me.

Christmas is hard when you don't have kids.  Well it's hard for people who don't have kids who want to have them.  Maybe it's not hard for people who never imagined  children a part of their lives. I don't know.  But I do know that I am not alone in saying that Christmas can be hard for those of us longing to have a little one to share it with.

I think it is especially hard for us this year because this is the first year ever that we aren't thinking "Maybe next year will be the Christmas we have our child home with us."  For the last 10 years we have been secretly wishing that next year would be the year.  In the first 5 years it was the hope that we would become pregnant and be able to share that joy at Christmas time.  The next 5 years were spent dreaming of a child in a country far away and if we could just hang on a little while longer then surely she will be home next year.

This year feels different.  I don't have that hope that next year will be the year because I honestly don't know if there ever will be a year that we celebrate with our child.

Maybe it will always just be the two of us.

And maybe one year it will feel like that's enough for both of us.

Just not this year.

I have so much to be thankful for.  

My family is healthy.
We have a roof over our heads.
I have the best friends.

I don't mean to sound like I'm not grateful for what I have.  I am.  But that longing in the back of my heart that I do my best to push down sometimes rears it's head, especially at Christmastime.

Later today I am going to Target to spend my gift cards on something for ME, then Joe and I are going to go for a walk in the rain and watch a Christmas movie later.

This sadness will pass and I will feel silly for even writing this post in the first place.

It's strange the feelings that a simple dream can dredge up.

There's something out there

I can't resist
I need to hide away from the pain
There's something out there
I can't resist
The sweetest song is silence
That I've ever heard
Funny how your feet
In dreams never touch the earth
In a wood full of princes
Freedom is a kiss
But the prince hides his face
From dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it's cold outside
Every moment I'm awake the further I'm away

"These Dreams" by Heart


Briana's Mom said...

Don't even feel silly one bit about writing this post. It was so heartfelt. Christmas is such a tough time when you don't have children but long for them so much. I can still remember and feel all those old sad feelings even though Briana has been with me for over three years. I wish I had the right words to offer you comfort. I don't think there are the right words. Just know I think of you often and I still hope that your dream of being a mother becomes a reality one day.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

Let the sadness pass naturally. Try not to force it away.

My feeling is that things for you and Joe are going to be ok. Who knows, maybe this dream is a sign.

Much love my friend.


KHM said...

There is nothing wrong with having a dream - never apologize for it.

And sometimes dreams do come true long after we have given them up. Not always, but sometimes they do.

2china4S said...

Like you I do not dream often of Mami and Papi, but miss them everyday. I am a major wimp as 36 and 30 years after they left I still miss them daily. A good friend once told me that I just was not done being parented and guided. I think that was a nice way to say I am a wimp. :)

I believe that the reason your Mom knew about C and G is because she is her grand-children's guardian angel. I am not a religious fanatic by any means, but I know Mami and Papi were there when JJ was born. I also know they, along with Grandpa C watched over SS since the day she was born. There you go, as silly as a thought can get, but it is what we believe and cherish.

I too long for the day when your dream of motherhood comes true. We will be there every step of the way while you and Joe pursue that dream.

Erica said...

Michelle, I am sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how hard the holiday must be for you when you are mourning two--a daughter and your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you today.

mam said...

Just catching up on sorry for your perfectly reasonable and heartbreaking grief. Thinking of you.