I used to have the most vivid dreams. So real, in fact, that once when I was 14 I dreamed about a boy that I liked and I woke up thinking we were actually dating (A big shout out to John Mokey who's dream counterpart was a fantastic kisser and who gave me one of my best hours of high school), it took me a full hour to realize that it had just been a dream. This says something important about me; I don't know what though.
I stopped dreaming in August of 2011 when my mom died. I miss dreams, I go to bed every night hoping that this will be the night they return. Sometimes in the morning I have a very fleeting memory of a very fleeting dream but nothing concrete, nothing I can hold onto for more than a moment. Except twice. Last night I had an incredibly vivid dream and let's just say that this blog would not be the proper outlet for the kind of dream that was. The first dream was on Christmas morning 2011, the first Christmas without my mom. After all of the paper had been torn, batteries inserted and toys flung about in wild abandon I laid back down in my bed and I dreamed about my Mom.
It's Christmas morning and I'm sitting in my actual living room on a wing back recliner that my mom bought from Habersham Plantation in 1988. My mom is sitting in the wing back next to mine; they are both in front of my fireplace. My mom's legs are tucked up under her the way she sat in a chair or on a couch for her entire life. She isn't sick. If I had to put money on it I'd say she is 32. I am 40. Olivia is sitting tucked into the space between my mom and the chair quietly playing with a doll; my mom's arms are wrapped around her. Grace is on the floor in front of her playing with a new toy. Aidan is lying on the floor with a book and Erin is lying on the couch. I tuck my legs up like hers.
"Can they see you?" I ask.
"No" she says.
"Can you always see us?" I ask.
"Yes. I always can" she says.
"Do you miss us?" I ask.
"No. I am always with you. I can see you and I can hear you" she says.
"I miss you" I say.
"I know. That's why I'm here" she says.
"Mom, I'm sorry" I say.
"Kristyn, you have nothing to be sorry for. You are exactly enough. You are an amazing mom, you are going to be okay and I love you" she says.
When I sit up in my bed my first thought is I want to go back. My second thought is that even dead my mom managed to come up with a fantastic Christmas present; only Cheli. The thing is, there is no going back. Life is all about forward motion and that morning my mom gave me a little shove down the path to reclaiming myself. That journey is a project in progress, it has bumped and chugged and occasionally stalled out. But it is moving forward; I am moving forward and I become more sure of myself as I go. My mom was really good at just figuring crap out and moving on. I've been told I'm the same. I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to her for giving me a little push. I'm not there yet but I feel like I am well on my way to being my best self. If you want to rise up out of the ashes like a phoenix you can't always afford to wait for someone else to burn things down. Sometimes, you have to burn your own shit down. Fire in the hole, people, fire in the hole.