Last night I had a dream. In it, it was Christmas time and my husband and I lived in a house I didn’t recognize. That is unusual for my dreams, they have always taken place in the house where I grew up. In the dream, my mother was with us. She appeared to be, perhaps, seventy years old, and was full of life while we enjoyed baking and cooking in preparation for a family Christmas gathering. It was one of those dreams that seems so real, that when you wake up, you wonder if it was more than just a dream. I know it wasn’t a memory, so what was it then?
This will be my first year without my mother. At almost 94 years of age, she got her wish and God took her. In spite of knowing that it was what she wanted, I can’t help but have these bouts of tears. The dream was like a mirage for a man wandering in a desert. It was a respite from the loss, but in the end, it wasn’t real.
Of course, I look around myself and am so grateful for all that I have. It is the natural course of things to lose your parents sometime in your lifetime and I certainly am lucky to have had her for so long. This Christmas my children will be coming home for a visit, and with each of them comes the hope of a brighter future. People leave a family and others join. In the years to come, the next generation will take their place in history and the family will go on as it has over thousands of years. The cycle of life continues.
But while those of us who still remember the past remain, those who have gone before us will be painfully missed. So as you gather around the Christmas tree or menorah this holiday season, count your blessings, but also, take a moment to recount the past so that the memories of those gone can continue on. For I believe that those who have passed on, are watching over us and they will rejoice in being remembered.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy