During the summer of 2005 my mom started to do unusual, compulsive things as a result of her Alzheimer’s. One of the things she did for hours on end, was to dead-head the flowers in the garden and put the seeds, pods, leaves, stems, and blossoms into arrangements everywhere. I told my sisters that she was trying to make order out of chaos. Everything she touched became a work of art, so I started photographing what she had done. I will post those here occasionally.
So my husband, my son, and I went for a quick visit to my dad’s. I can’t help but miss my mom when I’m up there. I can’t believe it’s only been four months since she died. Sometimes it feels like forever ago; sometimes it feels like she was just in the room.
I am a fairly early riser usually. And I like to stay up late as well. So once in a while, I take a mid-afternoon nap to try to catch-up with my sleep. But last Saturday, as I sat on the couch reading a magazine at about 11:00 a.m., I started to feel my eyelids get heavy, and soon stretched out and fell asleep—which is a very strange thing for me to do. While I was asleep I had the same dream about my mother – twice.
I was sitting at the dining room table drinking orange juice from a coffee cup, alone in the morning quiet. Mom walked into the room wearing her green velor robe and smiling at me. Her hair had been newly done and looked vibrant auburn and neatly styled—not the way she looked in the last few months of her illness when we could barely get it washed and combed. I looked up at her, and she smiled at me, and I started crying. I felt as though my whole body was shuddering with my sobbing. She reached across the table and held my had. “I miss you so much,” I said to her. She didn’t say a word to me, just pulled me from my chair and put her arms around me. Even now, a week later, I can feel the feeling of her slender but strong arms wrapped around me, holding me close. I was crying in her arms as she stroked my hair.
You know what it’s like when you have a nightmare that you want to escape and you force yourself to wake up just a little or you roll over to interrupt the images? That’s what I did. But I didn’t wake all the way up. Instead I had the exact same dream for a second time.
At the exact same moment, I forced myself awake—all the way this time. My husband was sitting in the recliner next to me watching football. “Did I say anything in my sleep?” I asked him.“No,” he replied. “Why?” “I just had the strangest dream.” I was so surprised that I hadn’t been crying in my sleep. My body felt achy, like it does after a good cry, and I just couldn’t shake the image and the touch of mom out of head. And I still can’t.