Two nights ago on September 1, 2013 at 1:36 a.m., it rained for less than 60 seconds.
I had just gotten out of bed to brush my teeth. When I laid back down, I heard pitter-pat pitter-pat. I listened in disbelief. Raining? It was so hot today. I listened for a few seconds more, then I rushed out to the living room to tell M. He was about to come wake me up to tell me the same, but he said he wasn't sure he should wake me.
We looked outside together but couldn't see the rain. We couldn't even hear it. I told him it was a good thing we didn't paint the table and benches today–the old weathered table and benches we found at an estate sale two Sunday's ago. That table in its weathered state reminded me of my grandfather and of the outside tables and chairs that he used to make with his own two hands–the chairs I used to sit in. I wondered if they were still there or if my uncle had thrown them out.
Then–the rain was gone like it never happened. I went back to sleep with a smile on my face. A few moments, right after I laid back down, I could smell the faint smell of wet earth. What a wonderful smell. My smile grew.
Two nights ago, I dreamt of my mother. I rarely dream about her, which I told my uncle recently when he told me that he had dreamed of her. He said, "My sister looked really happy," as he choked back a small rise of emotion.
Her memory is entwined with my existence.
For a great stretch of my life, I tried to live in a way that would give her spirit a second chance at life, to live in a way that would bring her the peace that she didn't seem to have for the short period of time I knew her. I still have that on my mind, but it has become more embedded within my soul, and in some ways I feel as though both of our spirits have come together in harmony, and now I don't focus on her peace any longer because I think we reached it together–her peace.
When I look into the mirror, as the years have gone by, more and more, the reflection looking back has glimmers of her; when I see certain pictures of myself, I see her smile; when I cry after reading a short story, I think of her; when I witness certain acts of kindness, I remember the things my mother did for others; when I think of how sometimes it's easier to open up and reach out to strangers more so than family, I think of my mother; when my temper gets the best of me, I am my mother. The positive and the negative are within me. I accept that. I work on and nurture what I can.
It's comforting to know she's with me and within me–that I recognize her.
Two night's ago, I dreamt of my mother. I was in a hospital looking for her. In the dream I think she may have been in an accident. I don't remember. I went to one room–room 103. There was a sign in the hall leading to the rooms that said for staff only. I tried to go down the hall, but I was cutoff and somehow the nurse knew where I was going, who I was looking for. My mother had been moved into another room. She pointed to the next hall of rooms and told me I would find her in there. I was hoping she was alone.
As I walked into the room, I saw her resting. She had a glow around her and her salt and pepper hair was mostly dark brown and glistened. She immediately sensed me, opened her eyes and gave me the warmest most peaceful smile. I went to her, beaming with a smile of my own, I bent my head down to her and rested it in the crook of her neck in her nest of hair and breathed her in as though I hadn't seen her in forever.
She smelled like the rain.