2004, (age 55) Precognitive Dream:
“Two Vehicles, Bumper to Bumper, Abandoned by Two Women Drivers”
I’m considering a trip to California, and as I usually do before making plane reservations and other actual plans, I seek guidance about the rightness of the timing. I fall asleep and dream I’m driving on a freeway in a big yellow school bus, in the fast lane. And I must stop quickly, and do, just in time to avert a collision with two cars, abandoned bumper to bumper, which I somehow know were driven by two women who have left them there. I wake and my interpretation of the dream is to take it easy on the trip- – i.e., to stay out of the fast lane. I figure my anima will appreciate the slowed-down pace of a good vacation. A few days pass, and a call comes from my Mother that my dear cousin Gerda is in the hospital, probably close to death. I drive up to Kansas City and accompany my Mother to the hospital. Gerda’s eyes are cloudy, but she sees that I’ve arrived, and a smile plays on her lips, then she closes her eyes as I begin to slowly stroke her brow over and over again with great tenderness. I am inviting her to rest, to let go. My mother sits there as I stroke her brow like this for close to an hour. Gerda never opens her eyes again. When Mom and I go out to get some lunch, she quietly dies. Gerda–My Mother’s final human obligation– is gone – – but now my tired mother’s dreading all the work a funeral entails. I offer to say a brief 5 minute eulogy at Gerda’s funeral, but Mom intensely says, “No”! At least 20 minutes!” This will take a lot of work to pull together but I recall an interview with Gerda that I’d taped a few years back about her childhood in Posnen, Poland, and — back home again in Arkansas — I listen to the tape and craft a beautiful, true eulogy of at least 20 minutes duration. I’m oddly agitated, nervous the whole week prior to the funeral services. My Mother seems so stressed about all the little details of it , too. The day arrives ( Friday the 13th) and off we to to Beard’s Funeral Chapel ( where services were held for my Dad then my brother Eric and now for Gerda). I get up and start to speak. I appreciate my Mother’s care for Gerda in a few well-chosen sentences early in the talk, and speaking on, am just barely aware as my Mother leaves the room. I’m so focused on carrying out her wishes, that I’m again only peripherally aware when later Leslie also leaves the room, and one other woman whose name I don’t know. As I conclude the talk, Leslie re-enters and says, “Geoff, you’d better come in here, something’s happened to your Mother”. I quickly walk back to a little side room where the unknown woman ( who turns out to be a nurse) attends my Mom, who’s color is very pale. Mom sees me, then ( just after that, just as with Gerda a week before) she shuts her eyes, and pretty much never opens them again. The ambulance arrives and takes her to the hospital emergency room, where tests are taken and a kindly, honest Doctor tells us that she’s had a massive stroke and has about an hour to live. We’re given a curtained-off area. I’ve never pictured being with my relatives at any of their deaths, except my Mom– I stroke her forehead, talk a little about the letting go she can now do, ( I’m told she very probably can hear, though not respond), and– since this would be her last unmet concern– reassure that we’ll find a good home for Tenzy – her little Lhasa Apsa Terrier. Phone calls aren’t supposed to be allowed in this quiet space, but suddenly a phone rings by my Mother’s bed, and a friend who Leslie’s briefly contacted calls to say a home’s been found for Tenzy. We don’t know why or how the hospital let that call through, but we share the news with Mom — her very last obligation’s met!– and soon she passes, the second woman to leave her earthly vehicle – so soon, so close after the first, my cousin Gerda. Almost bumper to bumper!