never stops teaching.
She had a very distinct handwriting. Precise and elegant. We treasure recipes, post cards, and letters that preserve her script. That is why I knew who the card was from when it came. I was dreaming, of course—my grandmother has been dead for several years. But it was as real as anything.
My mind had been spinning the night before the dream. I had been asked to meet a new challenge, one that might have felt pretty manageable had it not been ushered in by so many others. As a mother, it has been a year of “new” – middle school, new friends, even a new place to live while we renovate our home. “New” has meant discovering my youngest son’s long-term health issues and trying to help my middle son weather a negative classroom environment. “New” has included my daughter taking on pre-algebra and pre-pubescence, my husband taking on weekly trips out of town for work, and my father taking on chemo. So, the night before the dream, I’d had to reach deep into the well of shallow reserves to find what is necessary to go on being the positive and resilient mother. On the outside I was cool and level. But inside I was a mess of questions. How will I solve this one? What is the best path? How can I be sure they each get enough of what they need from me? Will he be ok? Will they all be ok? In body? In emotions? In self-confidence and self-understanding? When my head hit the pillow, I knew rest would not be possible if I went on badgering my tired mind with questions. So I followed my breath in and out, releasing one question at a time, until I was free to sleep. And then I dreamed.
I dreamed I was collecting the mail from the mailbox at the end of the driveway that leads to the door of our current rental home. As I walked back toward the house, flipping through letters and bills, I came across an envelope addressed to me in my grandmother’s handwriting. I did not tear it open but ran inside to find my husband and my mother standing there. I showed them the envelope, and my mother remarked that it did not have a return address and was postmarked from 2012. The year my grandmother died. There was discussion on how this could be possible. Where had the letter been for the past six years? Had it been lost somewhere? Or intentionally held back until now? After strange dream sequences of trying to trace the path of the small white envelope, I finally opened it. Inside was a Mother’s Day card, and my grandmother’s perfect script read, “Your love is big enough. Just keep believing and keep doing what you’re doing. I’m proud of my Chris.” I woke and sat up in a daze. My face was wet with tears. I jotted down the words I’d read in my dream. I wondered if my subconscious had conjured up the notion of receiving a card from my Grandmother out of a longing for her. Or had some part of her, of who she was and all that she stood for, with luminous warmth and endless generosity, known that I needed her?
We all have days when we feel stretched a little too thin or like we may come up short. We may even question our ability to be who we need to be. I’m grateful to be able to call my mother in moments like these—she lovingly assures me of what I intuitively know, that I’m right where I need to be. Present. Incredibly, this past week I received that powerful message from my dear grandmother as well.
The great mothers of your life might be a phone call away. Or maybe some of them would have to reach through space and time, into dreams and deep intuitions, to deliver you a message. It is my belief that my grandmother has done that for me. She sent me a Mother’s Day card. She found a way to reach me, because her love is big enough. And if she can do that, then love knows no bounds.
Anything is possible. Just keep believing and keep doing what you’re doing.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas!