How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps you’ve achieved some, but haven’t found the satisfaction you expected. Like the child on Christmas afternoon, he bursts into anger over some small thing, bewildered by the disappointment the eagerly awaited day has produced. Goals are good things. Trying is important. But nothing really, completely satisfies.
In a few days, I will mark six months since I walked with my mother to the door of death. And the strange heaviness, though not my constant companion as it was the first months, has still attacked me at random moments – entering the grocery store and seeing something I should buy for her – opening my cabinet and finding her measuring cup – planning a day trip and wondering if she’d enjoy the ride – hearing something delightful from a grandchild and anticipating sharing it with her.
A few nights ago I had a dream. Occasionally I have dreams that are vivid, clear and more real than being awake. This was one of those.
I was standing by a large body of water and called out, “Who wants to hear what I’ve been writing?” My mother swam towards me and climbed out of the water, full of life as she was the last time we played in the Gulf of Mexico in Pensacola Beach. She wave and replied, “I want to hear it, Janie-girl!” and climbed out.
As she drew closer, she grew weaker, and by the time I helped her onto a lounge chair she had shriveled into an invalid. I covered her with thick blankets to quell her shaking. Between chattering teeth, she encouraged me to begin reading Listen the Wind, the historical novel I am putting the finishing touches on, and she had edited for grammar and spelling errors when her mind was still sharp. As I started to read, we were on higher ground, looking out over the water, and she was in a hospital bed, growing weaker.
A sweet, clueless nurse, brought her food. Mom shook her head and turned toward the water and the bright sun as it moved toward the horizon. The nurse kept offering smaller bits, encouraging Mom to eat and gain her strength.
When the smallest piece, a little brown biscuit was offered, Mom pushed it away and whispered to me, “Don’t you see what really matters?”
Then I saw what she was so concentrated on in the splendor of the sun glowing over the water,
calling her to eternity.
And she was gone.
I awoke in the early morning light, tears streaming down my face, with profound peace. I knew that my mother, who most of my life hadn’t understood me (we were very different personalities) deeply loved me and valued my writing.
In my dream, I felt as if she had shared a measure of eternity with me, to encourage me in my journey.
The sense of eternity stayed with me, carried me through the day.
I no longer wish I had another chance to hug her or bring her ice cream or talk with her. She has reached her goal —
the goal we are all yearning for, whether we know it or not.
So, if you don’t achieve all your goals, or complete what you have planned, or even if you do, and it doesn’t satisfy, you can rest assured that it was meant to be.
You were created for so much more.
Have you had an experience that gave you a larger perspective on your life?
What would encourage you right now?