A while back I had a very real, very strange dream. Since my mother died in 2011 I have had only a handful of dreams about her, mostly in the first few weeks following her death. In these dreams I saw her as she was in her last days - not the very, very strong woman who had ruled my life for years. In these dreams (nightmares, really) I was reliving the hell that is stage four cancer. Reliving the fear of not being enough for a dear loved one who is suffering so terribly - the fear that I would fail as her only caregiver.
In this most recent dream of mine, she and I sat at our old kitchen table. You have to know, this is the table where she and I spent many an evening on my schoolwork. As a child who struggled with ADD her whole life, I knew that table well. The table where Mama sat across from me night after night - encouraging me, making up silly rhymes and songs to memorize facts, quizzing me before tests. Years later our dearest friends would gather here for lunch on the day she was laid to rest. This was the kitchen table in my dream - the dream where we were face to face and she spoke to me as her old (strong and healthy) self. I hung on every word. I knew this moment wouldn't last long. She looked me in the eye and said one word, "Concentrate". That was it. I was very aggravated. Concentrate on what!? How vague! How "mom-ish"! Funny thing is that now, I think I know what she meant. Concentrate on your life (it is short). Concentrate on your goals, passions, gifts, relationships. I do feel that she specifically meant "passions and gifts". She knew what mine were / are and she always pushed me to develop them.
I am easily distracted from what is most important, and I am so thankful for this nudge to "concentrate". Thanks, Mama!!