The last time I saw my mother, disease had taken her ability to be aware of her surroundings so that my father needed to call her attention to my presence in her hospital room. She turned to me then and said to me, “Oh! You came.” And she was delighted. She spoke to me in the same tone of voice she had used with me most of my life. I was her long-wished-for child, the one successful pregnancy amid multiple miscarriages. She reached for my hand as she spoke to me, and, for a moment, I was again her little girl, the center of her world. The next day my father and I were told we would have a meeting about my mother. We would make plans for her healthcare. We would set goals. We planned her funeral instead.
I had a dream. In the dream my mother was having dinner with us. I knew in the dream that she was not really there. I knew in the dream that I had conjured her from my own longing. She didn’t understand, the mother of my dream, when I kept saying to her, “I’m glad you came.” She didn’t understand because in the dream she didn’t know that she had gone.
I awoke with the sound of my own voice reverberating in my mind: “I’m glad you came. I’m glad you came. I’m glad you came.”