Little Diary of Getting Old: VIII
And then at night, when old,
we start having vague pointless
scraps of dreams that lead us
to this place or that, since even
our failing senses insist on
outings: and lost friends reappear,
sleepwalking through the stupor
of surrendered existence...
Translated from the Italian by Geoffrey Brock
This is part of a poem that really took my breath away as I read it. I go through phases where I seem to be having these dreams that are so real. They usually involve my Mom. In them I know she's dead but there she is sitting there talking to me, looking like she always did. Those are the toughest ones.
And she has been in my dreams almost every night. They are not really about her; she's just in them. I think it's because I'm leaving today to go for a week's visit back home. Well, not home, really. Back to Ohio. I'm visiting my closest friend who I haven't seen in nearly five years. We get to have a week of just "girl time". She's got lots of crazy things planned, old friends I'll be reunited with. This will be good!
But driving the four hours to Ohio, all the grief always comes back. It has been six years now since Mom's been gone. Some days it still feels like a hammer hits me in the stomach, taking my breath away. And I realize all over again that I've lost her. And so I try to put on a brave front and smile for my friend. Her mother just turned 92 and lives near her. She sees her everyday and they are still very close. I try not to wonder why my mother was taken at age 64 every time I see someone else with their mother.
So in my dreams, lately, my mother is just on the periphery. She's there but not really participating. She's just with me, I guess; a presence. I painted this little piece with that in mind. The girl represents me and the glow around her is the love and warmth of a mother that never leaves. Now I can head off on my trip in a better frame of mind. Maybe with a little extra presence with me to keep me company during my drive.