Monday, January 18, 2010

She Had a Dream

My mother had a dream too, but hers never had the impact that Dr. King’s had – she doesn’t have the same way with words. Mom’s description of what she dreamt usually starts with “Oye.” It develops from “Oye” to “You wouldn’t believe…” When I insist I will believe, the story goes on. It seems when you get to be 89 your dreams take on a whole different tone than when you are 3 but they can be no less frightening. Zachie (who is 2 1/2) has the ability to dream before he goes to sleep. He wants to be assured that there are no ghosts, no geese, no monsters and there will be daylight when he awakes. Once you have convinced him that no ghosts will haunt him, no geese will chase him, there’s no such things as monsters, and it’s always darkest before the dawn, his sleep seems peaceful, or at least without incident.

But when you are almost three, you do not know with what horrors you will be confronted during your lifetime. And when you are 89, there is only one more difficulty with which you will have to deal — the unknown. Not being nearly three or close to 89, I have no idea about the magnitude of their imaginations. When you are young you usually haven’t survived the loss of friends or family. And although you may still be in diapers, you have not yet suffered the humiliation of loss of bladder control, or the degeneration of bone and ability. At 89 you no longer move without effort or remember without prompting. This is not a terrible thing, it is just a natural progression… so, on this “I have a dream” day, back to Mama Rose.

A few months ago Rosie had a dream that she was with her sisters (6 of them) and her brother – all of whom are gone except her twin. You may recall we send them all to Florida instead of the grave. Anyway, the dream did not frighten her, she seemed perfectly comfortable about the visit. Here’s what happened:

R: “Oye, you wouldn’t believe it but they were all here.”
I: “Who, Ma?”
R: “Who? Who do you think? The President of the United States? I’m sure he would have been here, but he was busy.”
I: “So who, Ma?
R: “Guess.”
I: “I don’t want to guess. Daddy?”
R: “No, not your father. But close. Never mind, you’ll never guess. Your Aunts and Uncle Jack. And Aunt Fritzie and Aunt Helene were wearing paper hats. Not like birthday hats, but made from newspaper. And Aunt Sophie said, ‘Fritzie what are you doing with that stupid hat on your head, it’s not even your color.’ And Aunt Sarah said, ‘so Rosie where have you been?’ And Uncle Jack said, ‘What am I doing in this dream?’ And then Aunt Betty said ‘Don’t fight, Papa will get angry.’ Papa never got angry, so I knew it must be a dream and also Aunt Sophie was right, Aunt Fritzie would never wear a paper hat like that – even if it were her color. They don’t look so healthy but it was good to see them again.”
I: “And then did they go away?”
R: “Well of course, did you think they were going to wait for you to show up?”
I: “Was it like a nightmare Ma?”
R: “What, you think your family is a nightmare?”
I: “Of course not, I just wondered if you were frightened? If you are frightened?”
R: “Because I’m going to die, you mean? Like they were calling me, ‘Rosie please come, Rosie we miss you.’ No, it wasn’t like that. It was nice to see them. And I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid you’ll bury me here, all the way on the other side of the country.”
I: “That’s not going to happen. You know you’ll be right next to Daddy in that cemetery in 'Gubutska's Yure," where we always have to sit in traffic."
R: “OK, good, then it was just a dream. I just had a dream last night.”

We're just sayin'....Iris


Anita said...

Iris.. this is hysterical... funny thing... I can hear the two of you now...

Unknown said...

Its such a funny and adorable post to read to remind me of nana...even she behaved in such a manner in her 70ies...
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