My mother had a dream about a month ago that was so vivid she can’t get it off her mind. She mentioned it again to me today. She called me especially to tell me about it the day she had it, and her telling of it was so vivid that I can’t get it off my mind either. But for a different reason.
My mother is 87 years old. She has now lived longer than both her parents and all three of her older siblings. (Her younger sister is not yet 80.) She is in good health, lucid, and has more energy than most people her age. Looking at her, you would never guess that she is as old as she is, and, though I know this won’t go on forever, I like to think she has a good chance of breaking 100.
But about a month ago my mother had this dream. In the dream, she came upon a lot of people she didn’t know who had all gathered for some sort of celebration. Everyone was very happy. Mom asked what the occasion was, and they said it was the opening of a Howard Luggage store. Howard Luggage is the store that her father (dead now) started and passed on to my mother’s brother Sidney (dead now). Uncle Sidney built it up and intended to pass it on to my cousin Marvin, who would have been about ten years my senior, but he died maybe forty years ago under tragic circumstances. My cousin Steve now runs the store.
In the dream, my mother was happy to find out that the celebration had to do with this store that has been in the family for so long. She decided to go inside.
She went through the doorway.
It was at about this point in the story that I started crying. Fortunately, we were talking on the telephone, so I didn’t have to upset my mother’s happy mood, but I cried through the entire rest of the tale. To me, going through that doorway sounded a lot like dying. I tried to be glad that she saw it as a happy event.
Inside the store, my mother related, “Guess who I saw?” I thought, “Your father,” but I said, “Who?” “Your cousin Marvin!” my mother announced happily, “and I went right up to him and hugged him. He told me he was doing really well and was very happy.” My mother was very moved by this dream because she had never dreamed of Marvin before, not close up like this. Not touching. My mom woke from the dream feeling that it was more vivid than life, and she felt very happy about it.
I think that she was beginning to explore the new terrain on the other side of dying by contacting the people who had gone on ahead. I can’t get it out of my mind that, in this one dream at least, she has crossed over the threshold.