You know how when you're sick you have restless, fitful sleeps - the kind where you wake up in a cold sweat, disoriented and unsure of your bearings on the line between dreamland and reality? I've had those kind of sleeps the past few nights. What I was certain was the dreaded flu turned out to be an upper respiratory infection - but still the cause of seemingly fever-induced tossing-and-turning nights. As one who already suffers from insomnia issues - sick nights like these are typically the worst.
However, when I woke up in the dark of very early morning today (just after 3 am), I have to admit that I didn't want to cross that line into being fully awake. I was having the most wonderful dream - and if it was fever induced or antibiotic induced or fighting said infection induced - I would gladly be this sick - if only for that moment when I thought all was right in my world.
You see - in my dream - I had mustered up the courage to face my stepfather - the gatekeeper to my mother. I walked up the sidewalk to my mother's front door - and before I could raise my hand to knock - he opened the door.
My voice caught in my throat - and I was terrified of what he would say. But he smiled. And opened his arms wide. And pulled me into a warm embracing bear hug - the kind that only daddy's and step-daddy's can give. He simply said 'we've missed you' and led me into the living room where my mother was.
She was in her wheelchair - with her back to the wall of windows - facing me - with her arms also widespread. Her droopy smile was wide - in fact, she was grinning from ear to hear. I ran to her and dropped to my knees and put my head in her lap. She wrapped her arms around me - and smoothed my hair - the most comforting feeling that I've ever known.
I looked up at her - and we both had tears in our eyes - and we knew - we both knew without saying a word - that the hurt and the disappointment and the anger that had kept us apart was gone. Dissolved. I was my mother's daughter again.
And all was right in the world. My heart was complete.
And then I woke up...tangled in my sheets, and damp with sweat. Deonne went back to Virginia yesterday evening - so I was alone. I was completely disoriented as to the day, the time, where I was, who I was. But as reality began to seep in as I blinked at the red numbers on my clock - all I wanted to do was crawl back into that dream. Into that place where I was with my mother. My mommy. Where my step dad had managed to let go of his anger and his hurt enough to see that I've never stopped loving him - or my mother - and that I've been the same person all along.
And although I quickly shut my eyes and pulled the sheets around me - trying to get back to that place - the efforts were futile. It was gone - just beyond my reach.
I allowed a few tears to fall - and then drifted off to another fever-sick-induced dream - of what I have no idea. But that early morning dream still haunts me. Every time I close my eyes or sit for a moment - I am reminded of it - and can almost feel my mother's hand on my head - or my stepfather's warm embrace.
It brings me both joy and sadness - feeling/remembering the deep bond between my mom and I - yet knowing it is beyond my reach.
Hoping and praying that in 2013 - the rights can be wronged and the barriers dropped so that I can be a part of my family again - in reality and not just my dreams.