The other day on one of the social media sites I visit, someone posted a picture of a park bench perched on the edge of a bluff, overlooking a beautiful landscape on a sunny day and posed this question, “If you could have a one hour conversation with anyone who has passed away, who would you pick?” Before I could even process the question, I said to myself, “Well that’s a no brainer, my Mom, of course.” I continued on, not really thinking too much about it…or so I thought.
I began to wonder what our conversation would be like. Nine months after she passed away (during a particularly stressful period in my life), I was blessed by an incredibly vivid dream (that lasted less than ten minutes long) which afforded me an opportunity to have a brilliant conversation with my mom. In the dream I was assured she was no longer in the chronic pain she suffered from, for most of her adult life; that once I get to heaven, the cheeseburgers are fantastic and do not cause weight gain and that in life there are hills and valleys…you just have to pay attention as you travel. Then I woke up. I had fallen asleep watching television, early in the evening and woke up refreshed and excited and high.
So imagine what an hour long conversation with her could be like?
“Hi Mom!” followed by the biggest longest hug and tears we could bear-which may take up most of the hour, honestly.
“Marsha-How’s the weight coming?” “Really? That’s your first question to me?”
“It’s always been a good conversation starter….” “I miss you!!” “I miss you too! You’ve all been very good to your Father…” “Have you enjoyed your respite from him?” “Now, I wouldn’t put it that way. I’m with your father day in and day out…he knows that. Now tell me about your children….”
And so our conversation turns to me bragging about the boy and the doll and how much I love them and how much they drive me nuts. Until my mom interjects… “Marsha, you need to find a better tone of voice to use when talking to them.” “Oh, so you have been watching?” “Of course I have. I’ve watched all of you.” Pondering about what she’s said I ask “How do you find that better tone of voice? Because honestly I’ve tried and searched and yet sometimes, harshness is all that comes through. “Marsha, take deep breaths and don’t react first-then ask questions. Give your kids the same benefit of the doubt you give to strangers…”
While that bit of information sinks in, I look away, trying to find the right words in which to ask her my next-more personal question. One I already know the answer to inside my heart…
“Mom…are you…” I look down at my wringing hands; pause for a moment before looking back into your eyes, “Are you proud of me?” Without hesitation, she bundles me back up into her arms and unequivocally says “YES, yes, yes. How could you ever think otherwise…?” “Because I’m human.” is the most honest answer I have.
And then she’ll tell me something I’ve suspected for a long long time. “You know, I visit with you all the time. In fact anytime you’re reminded of me…that’s me twitching your ear. I’m really not very far away-I’m in your heart, in your children’s faces, in your siblings care, sharing your Father’s love and blessings. If I wasn’t proud of the woman you’ve become….why would I send out so many reminders?”
Once again we’d be ensconced in a hug, which would carry us to the end of the hour. I imagine she would hum something and I would feel soothed by her warmth until the time came to leave…and then once again I would awaken, feeling refreshed, loved and high. Happy I was blessed by the experience, yet always longing for a little more time.
“I’m lonesome for you mom!”