I dream every night. As I wake I’m aware of my dream, though the specifics aren’t always clear. This morning was like that. Since my mind is always active at night, I don’t give the elusive dreams any additional thought.
But today when I walked into the kitchen, past a picture of my mom, one specific moment of last night’s dream slammed back into me.
I lost my mom a couple years ago. Those of you who have experienced loss, know you never, ever stop missing your loved ones. My grief has progressed to the point where I smile whenever I think of her, and only rarely get hit with those aching moments of emptiness.
Last night in my dream, I was sitting cross-legged on the ground. I don’t remember why. I have no clue what I was doing beforehand or what I intended to do afterward. Someone plopped down next to me and I glanced casually to see who it was. It was my mother.
I gasped, “Mom!”
I was confused how she could be there. I knew she was supposed to be dead, but I didn’t know I was dreaming.
And then she placed her hand on my knee. Oh my god, I felt it! Physically felt her unique touch. Gentle and strong. Dry, papery skin. Warm.
|My mom and my first born 1992|
I’ve never realized before how unique a person’s touch is. But last night when my mom rested her hand on my knee, I realized how completely individual each person is. It's like a fingerprint.
I don’t remember anything else. I have no idea why she came. I don’t remember speaking beyond my exclamation. The immense sense of home, familiarity, rightness that filled me when her hand rested on my knee is the only thing I remember. But it's most certainly enough. I’ll take it!
Give me a minute to wipe my eyes…anyway, the reason I’m sharing this with you is because this one dream moment has taught me something for my writing. Every person’s touch is unique. Really. Truly. My challenge going forward will be to write them that way.