Saturday, May 07, 2011

"Until we meet again"

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, after the dream about being James Bond and being given a picture of a rose to give to my mother, I went down to the living room to check on her, a little after 11 AM. I found her wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the couch, sleeping. When I asked if she was alright, she woke up and said yes, and said she had a song going through her mind, that she heard the song on the TV as part of a collection for a commercial or infomercial. I was astounded as I had heard songs in the dream, the last one of which had still been going on in my head. She really liked the song on TV until she remembered that she had heard it when she was in school, that it was sung by a singing group that sung several songs there. It was the last song, and they were really good, and the audience had clapped and she or someone had spoken to them, telling them how good they were and maybe asking them to stay longer, but they had to go on, they had other places to visit. Later she was saying that maybe this was the last one, she thought, and they were going home, to another state, maybe Ohio.

The next day the teacher came, really solemn, and told them the bus had been hit by a train, and the man and the woman had been killed, several people had been killed. My mother turned the TV off after she remembered that, where she had heard the song from, it made her too sad to think of it. She sung several verses of it for me, but couldn't think of the last one. A little later she remembered it and sung it and it went something like this (I forgot the middle part), "May your days be filled with bright tomorrows ... until we meet again."

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Dream - James Bond and the picture of the rose

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, sometime in the morning, I dreamed I went to a mall somewhere, in Arizona, probably the Mesa-Tempe area. It was Sunday and in the afternoon, maybe getting late in the afternoon. I think I went to a second one then. I had to get back soon for supper, I think we were having some kind of family get-together.

I had made my way along the mall from one end to the other. It was a large mall. I started on the second story and it had a downhill slope most of the way. Partway along I switched to the bottom story, maybe two thirds or more along. There were several turns. I think I started out soon turning left, then after a little while turning right, then left again for a little longer and then right and then left and then right for a longer time, and then left for a long but shorter time, and then left again for a fairly long time, something like that. I was looking at various things as I went, usually from outside the stores, though I think I went into a few places and through or by a few that were out in the mall. I was nearly to the end now, in the section where the end was. I had been hoping to get something to eat. I had passed a little place selling soft ice cream. I thought of getting some, but wasn't sure I wanted ice cream. There were a lot of people around. It was getting late now, late in the afternoon on Sunday.

An announcement said the mall was going to close soon. People started hurrying, some to leave and some to finish up what they were doing. I was near a little tiny snack place out in the mall aisle, but it wasn't a place I really wanted to get the food from. I turned around and was going past it or through the edge of it. A family was there and some other people. A little kid ran into me from behind and was against me for a moment, then went around me. I wondered if it was something to try and take my wallet, but felt my back pocket and found my wallet was still there.

I had thought to maybe do some shopping for Christmas, but I didn't buy anything, just looked. We didn't have too much money right now to buy stuff with, and I had to be careful in choosing what I bought. I walked back through the mall.

After a while I turned right, and started walking through the longest section, going up hill a little as I walked. I was hoping to come across the ice cream store and maybe buy something. The mall was closing and a lot of stores were dark, maybe most of them, others were pulling down their security cage fronts. I didn't see the ice cream store, but a lot of the stores were dark and it was hard to tell. I wondered if I had been on the upper level when I went through this area, it seemed that I might have but I couldn't remember for sure. The store was probably on the upper level, I thought, maybe at the elevator back at the corner. I stayed on the lower one, though. I didn't know for sure and time was running out anyway, and it might be closed by the time I got up there.

I went through the section and turned right, and went along a relatively short, narrower section without stores. On the right was a long dirt section with a wall beyond it. It had a slight upward slant. The dirt had cactus skeletons and dry desert plants and a low open wooden fence along it, or maybe just posts and wire. I think it had a few cattle skulls somewhere, along with a few bones. One or two of the skulls may have been on the posts, and maybe a couple of cowboy hats. There may also have been a small wagon wheel or two, painted white. It seemed to be something related to Halloween, I thought, though it was past now, and they still had it up, at least for now. It also seemed to have some other tie-in, something that the mall was doing, perhaps related to some activity or event.

I went in it and walked through it for a while. Partway through, I looked back the way I came. It seemed that the bad guy or guys might be back there, that they might have come back, and might be aware of me and trying to sneak up on me. I couldn't see anything for sure, though I thought I could see a few of the townsfolk.

I got to the end and left the dirt area, and went across to where the aisle turned left and divided, with part going on in an upward slant and part beside it to the right on an upper level, perhaps six to eight feet up, going parallel to it. On the left was a section that was open, down to a lower level far below.

I climbed up to the upper walkway. It was in black wood with a black wood railing, with wooden shops along it, like an Old West town. I seemed to be a kind of James Bond character, though later on I was actually James Bond. I went along carefully, watching out for things. Shortly, the aisles turned left again for a while. The Old West section ended here. Then I got on to a longer section that turned right. It went through an area that was mostly just walls, then turned right again, and went along a large area. On the left were some shops, and on the right a railing with a big open area to a lower story. It was much brighter here. I went along the aisle, going upward, until it turned right, and then went that way. It was broader along here, spreading out into a large area. Things were mostly white.

My mother was with me at some point. It seems like she had driven a car there, maybe a station wagon, to the large room/area there that I was in. It was parked somewhere there, a ways back. I met up with her, and we continued walking, hurrying along. I moved faster, and got ahead of her, though she seemed much younger than she does now, maybe even in her thirties. I was worried, I think, about the bad guy catching up.

I came to some small open rooms near the railing. A man came up the steep slope of ground beyond the railing, coming up from the sunken lake that was in the big open section. He was soaked, and met up with two or three of his friends in one of the small rooms. I was worried about him, that he might be a threat, that he might threaten us. He was upset about his girl friend leaving and wasn't rational. He was nervously talking about doing something, that it didn't matter any more. He produced a small chainsaw. The blade was probably only about fifteen inches long, and was black. He turned it on in a threatening manner, waving it around a little, some in my general direction. I worried that he was going to attack us and try to kill us. My mother wasn't in the room, but wasn't very far away. He turned it on and off a few times, waving it a little and looking up at me sometimes, looking upset and worried. His friends, who had seemed supportive at first, looked more worried as time went on. The blade didn't look or act like a normal chainsaw blade, it seems it was a rough, lumpy, abrasive strip with a thin rubber coating, and it didn't spin, it just went back and forth a little along the middle part.

I reached out suddenly and grabbed the blade with the fingers of one hand. I'm not sure whether it was originally on when I grabbed it, but it was turned on at some point for a while while I was holding it. He was looking at me worriedly. I let go, worried that I was going to get cut. After a moment where I thought about what to do, I started struggling with him over it. He wouldn't let go of it. It got pointed up high in the air for a while, and then pointed way down. I think my mother had arrived at some point, and was standing a few feet back, looking worried and concerned, her mouth open. I was worried that his buddies would go to his defense, but they stayed out of it, even though one was literally on each side of him, and an additional one to his right beyond the first one.

I got the saw on the side of his right shoe, which was made of some kind of odd rubber, looking like a poor casting, with raised blotches and extra rubber at some of the seams sticking out in thin ridges. He mocked what I was doing, saying it didn't matter and wouldn't hurt him. The saw got away from his foot and I brought it back down again and got it under his foot, which was now raised up in the air by it, either from the saw pushing at it or him trying to move his foot away from it some or both. I kept up the pressure. It took a long time for the saw to cut through the rubber. He continued to talk to me, looking more sad and worried now, still saying it didn't matter, and saying something about something else, maybe the lake. I looked back down at what I was doing and saw with astonishment that his shoes had changed to rubber swim fins, and that the saw was making progress, cutting up to about halfway through his foot as I watched. I hadn't intended to hurt him that much, just enough to cut him some and hurt him enough that he would be concerned about it and not walking around trying to hurt people.

I withdrew the saw and he put the foot down. He was still sadly saying that it didn't matter. Watery blood was coming out some on the sides of the flipper and spreading a little on the floor under and around his foot. I was worried again that his friends might try to defend him, but they were just looking at him, staring at his face, looking sad and worried. I left them there, suggesting that they get medical assistance, that they needed to get someone. I think someone made a move to call someone or leave to get someone or something like that.

I went to the end of the room, which ended in a very small wharf sticking out, not much more then a heavy wooden sidewalk along part of the edge, sticking out sideways over the ocean. It seemed darker in that direction, like it was twilight or close to it. A few fishermen or sailors sat on or along it, not many, maybe three or four. There were some ships out there somewhere, far out there, and the men were waiting somewhat peacefully and wistfully for them to come back. It felt peaceful there, but I didn't feel it was safe. I couldn't afford to sit down and rest and wait. I felt that the enemy was coming, and I had to take action.

I went back the way I had come, but staying closer to the other side of the area. Along the side, there were sometimes small rooms and areas, sometimes with small side branches continuing at an upward slant to other things. I went by them, without going into them. As I went along, I changed to actually become James Bond, dressed in dark, tight-fitting knit clothes. Sometimes I was more like Sean Connery and sometimes more like Roger Moore. I was trying to pretend I was someone else, just a person there, maybe a tourist.

As I got back to the corner and got on the aisle I took to get there, I looked back and saw that a man was in a part of the wide area near the corner to the aisle, by a narrow counter out by itself, who was finishing up putting on a light gray, padded Batman-like costume with a dark cape and cowl. He was with some other people, some of whom may have been helping him. It seemed like it might have been some part of the activities available there.

I went along back down the aisle, going downhill, and came to the corner that turned left, but went right instead onto an offshoot of the aisle, going into an enclosed section. I met a short woman there, thin and in her thirties or forties. I talked to her briefly about something. She happily answered me, with a kind of smug expression. She seemed to be on my side, and the smug expression was about the information she was giving me, something about other people.

I went on forward and came to a broad opening to a large store. The opening closed off before I could get to it though, by something coming down over it, a wall coming down like a large garage door might. It had square panels like large push buttons maybe a foot or so across covering most of it, set in two or three sections. They had strange symbols on them, and almost all of them were softly lit.

As I came up to it, I saw a small panel under them near the right side. I had to press in a code to enter. I was uncertain what code would be proper. I needed to get inside, though. I thought the bad guy, the head person, might be in there. I needed to get in even if they were closing. It was awkward to enter things on it. It didn't actually have buttons, just a little plate, like dark brass, maybe six to eight inches across with small dark numbers and other things, of various sizes, relatively close-spaced. When I poked on them with my finger something happened, something lit up in an order of some kind up on the door/wall in front of me, and I saw somewhere there a lighted small display of what I pushed, but the place I was pushing didn't go down or do anything. I thought I was just going to enter 007, my code name, and they might let me in because they recognized it, if they did recognize it, but I thought they might because of their possible association with the enemy, that they might do it as a courtesy, and kind of to see what I might want, what I might be doing.

I was having a hard time with it, and was somehow pressing the wrong or too many buttons, and after a pause almost all of the lighted squares went dark. I tried again, and maybe a third time. The result didn't look much at all like 007, being maybe 5 characters, and you'd never know I was trying to type in 007 by looking at it. After a pause the wall came up, though.

There were various people inside, clerks and employees I guess. A woman surrounded by dark counters, with maybe a few other people in there with her, looked at me amusedly and asked in a slow voice, "007?" I looked at small lighted letters on a device on the counter that showed what I typed in, and I didn't see how she derived it from that. Maybe she used the combination of all the times I tried, maybe analyzed by a computer. I nodded. I think she might have said something about the bad guy expecting me, and indicated further on in the store. It seemed to be something owned by him, as part of his empire.

I walked on into the store, relatively slowly, looking at things, stopping frequently. The lighting was subdued. I saw a woman quickly putting some small ceramic figures up on a cart to store for the night. They were probably around six to twelve inches high, and I think of movie and TV characters. The cart, a large square white metal thing with maybe two or three levels, was handled by some other women. Then I saw some life-size manikins, who were movie and TV characters and looked real, who were singing and putting themselves in short compact rows. A Buddy Ebsen figure dressed like the Beverly Hillbillies' Uncle Jed was singing and dancing a little, back and forth from the compact lines to a place a few feet away, where another short line was, where other characters were who were waiting for their turn to join up with the others. It was very pleasant and enjoyable to watch.

After a while I moved on past it, going to the left a ways and then forward. I went by other things, going uphill. Sometimes, too, I ran across widely separated steeper ramp-like areas running across it two or three feet long. I came to an area where jewels were sold on square dark islands in the floor, perhaps six feet across, and I came to a large area where paintings or pictures were set up on an array of easels, and an area where a lot of chairs had been set up, folding chairs, and a lot of people were around, standing and talking and getting into them, special insiders who had been invited to an after-hours showing of some kind, some performance or movie or something. I walked on, still going upward. I came to a broad array of small dark islands again, generally each one with a woman behind it or doing something with the items there. The earlier place had a few women, too.

Near the end of the store, I was given something that the enemy had said to give me for my mother. At first I thought it was jewelry, but then I realized it was a small picture, maybe around eight to ten inches high and six inches wide, on a rigid backing, pale with a large, slightly raised rose done in a silvery sparkly color with a slight bit of rose color in places. There were occasional sparkles of different colors on it and the background, and the picture had a small raised border near the edge. I looked at it and thanked them profusely. I moved on, then. I was getting close to the end of the store area now.

Finally, at the end, there was an open area, set off from the rest with a railing I believe. The open entranceway was to the left, and there was a door to the right. Beyond the area, at the wall, were windows showing the outside and the parking lot. It was still light outside. The enemy was in the open area, within the railing, sitting at a desk. He was an moderately old man, and looked like the Gecko's boss on the Geico insurance commercials. He was busy at something on his desk and talking to people who sometimes came in through the door. He was friendly to me, increasingly so as we talked, with him doing most of the talking. He seemed to regard us as long-time rivals, but friendly rivals. He got happier and more enthusiastic about things, and said I could go out the door, indicating it, and I think getting up even. I might have thanked him for the picture at some point, but I'm not sure. I went off to the open door and back into the mall, to the broad area I had been in earlier.

All through the walk up here through the large store I had been hearing voices singing, one song after another, pleasant songs, generally old songs, like from the first half of the 1900s, sounding like a small choir singing, a mixture of men and women, probably mostly women. The voices had a bright, slightly echoie quality. The final one was "I've got my gal, who could ask for anything more," ending as or shortly after I went out the door back into the mall. It seemed late afternoon, but there were still quite a few people there. I was going to take the picture to my mother, who was still perhaps two-thirds of the way somewhere across the broad area, as the scene started to fade and I woke up.

The following part, featuring some activities with the Batman-like character, may have occurred before the store part, probably did in light of the dream seeming to end after the store part and the song being heavily in my mind as I woke up, and remained in it as I went to check on my mother. After originally meeting the Batman-like character, I might have gone back to the broad area before going to the store, although the scenes don't have an obvious exit from them to it, and just seem to end there. There's also the possibility that the first scenes and the remake were separated by other dream activities, possibly even with the first part before the store and the second part after:

I was joined somewhere in the aisle area by the Batman-like figure, who was much taller and clumsier, and much larger overall, but who also seemed to be me. After a few short misadventures in and near the aisle we made our way back onto the wide area. The Batman-like figure seemed to be to provide comic relief. Perhaps a third or a quarter of the way into the aisle area, we stopped at a place with a white counter and some people in line along it, and got hats. The Batman figure picked up an enormous long hat that was four or five feet long and stuck out far to the back and front, tapering to points, almost like wearing a small canoe. The James Bond figure picked up a more normal one, maybe something like a Robin Hood hat.

We then went over to the other side of the wide area, going across its width rather than its length, to a slightly higher area, a little ways through a small aisle that opened up a bit to a moderately wide area with lots of partial rooms separated by low walls, finally becoming more of a general large area near the other edge, where the mall ended. We stopped a little ways in and stood in front of a counter with some other people. Some hats were sitting in little stacks there, and someone behind the counter, a somewhat grumpy short man with light colored hair, probably gray-white, was giving them out, probably selling them. Either now or later the Batman-like figure got an extremely large, long pointed hat made of soft camouflage material that was just half a hat, with the right side just having long thin straps connecting the ends and holding it on. He wasn't wearing the cowl by that time, and looked uncertain about the whole thing.

Then after a while it redid itself, and it was several years later, like a remake or a sequel, and as the Batman-like figure, I was heavier and didn't fit in the clothes as well, and was a little doubtful about the whole thing. It seemed to be mid to late afternoon. The hat I picked up at the first place was still huge, a lot bigger than before even, but seemed to be made of a kind of extremely loose weave soft straw or reeds. I put it on and continued standing there by the counter, sighing softly about it, waiting for something, maybe for the James Bond figure to come back. I think we then went across to the other place to remake the scene there.

There was some more in the dream with the Batman figure, with him getting the second hat, and him having to wait a little while for it because of the other people there, waiting for theirs. I believe the second hat was smaller than in the previous version, perhaps quite a bit. There may have been some more with the Batman figure after that, and there may have been some more in the original version, with him and the James Bond figure traveling in and near the broad area, perhaps sometimes separately, and some activities there. However, I can't say now what it was, as I either neglected to write it down or didn't remember it at the time. The actual portion written down back then ended with the previous paragraph, with six trailing spaces and then, in brackets, the words "I've got my gal, who could ask for anything more," indicating the song was apparently going through my mind in the dream.

Note from Wednesday, September 27, 2011: The additional story from the dream, above, ended with a gap of six spaces and then part of the song in brackets. This seems to indicate that I had some more to write, but never got around to it. I can't add anything now. It's possible I meant to indicate that the song was going through my mind, but there must have been something more.

Note from Thursday, September 28, 2011: It seems that I actually had a battle with the enemy, near the end of the Old West section, when he came along a taller balcony that was pointed toward it, but it's not recorded here. He looked relatively young then, maybe in his late thirties or somewhere in his forties, and was wearing dark stretchy clothes, and was acting crazy, almost Joker-like. Perhaps it was something in another dream, though, and not this one.

See also the post "Until we meet again", which records what happened, in real life, after I went to check on my mother.

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Dreams and visions of my mother

My mother went into the hospital on Thursday, November 4, 2010, and died late on Monday, November 8, 2010.

Before that time, sometimes months before, I had had premonitions of her death. I had been having dreams for a long time, years, reflecting my concerns about her declining health. These could be attributed to what I could plainly see, without having to call them predictive. Some dreams though, including one a few days before her death, are harder to explain.

There was a time after her death, a week or so, when I had much fewer dreams than normal, and the ones I had of her sometimes seemed more like visions, particularly since I wasn't always asleep when they happened. I also had feelings of her being there at times. Most of the time, though, I felt an emptiness, and numbness, that was very profound. It didn't help either, that my own health at the time was not very good.

In the second week, I seemed to be having more dreams, some with my mother, though she tended to play minor parts. It wasn't until after the second week that I began to have a lot more dreams, including ones in which my mother played major parts. These dreams frequently referred to her death, though she was apparently alive in them, or at least acted so. Sometimes she appeared younger, and sometimes not, and sometimes she didn't look so good, like the dream was showing her actual body, dead but animated. Sometimes my grandmother, her mother, also appeared in the dreams. I had had many dreams about my grandmother in the past, but she rarely talked in them. Now, she talked a lot.

Below are a list of the visions, dreams, premonitions, etc., though I can't claim to have included all of them. The dreams still continue, too, though now she usually appears as a more normal figure in them, without references to her death. Most of the dreams and other items have been shortened quite a bit here, to better fit within the long list.

A few months before my mother died, perhaps early September, though I think it might have been late August, I was thinking about what I might get her for Christmas, when the feeling came, that it didn't matter, that when the time came it wouldn't be something that mattered. It was a feeling that the question itself wouldn't have any meaning. There was a bit of an empty feeling with it. I tried to reject it, push it away, because it implied that my mother wouldn't be there.

At around 6:30 AM on Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2010, I walked down to the living room to check on my mother. I found her sitting on the floor near the hallway, facing away from me. She had tried to step around the partly folded towel she had put down weeks ago for the cat to lay on, and tripped and fell. Her left wrist was injured, and had a bump on the upper part of it on the side toward her body. It was fairly good sized, perhaps a third of the way across.

Earlier, I had been on the computer, and listening to the radio. Perhaps a little less than ten minutes or so before, the Internet connection had been lost. I thought that my mother might have for some reason wanted to call Sharon, and picked up the phone, causing the connection to be lost. I thought I should go down and tell her that it was alright to call, if she didn't already know, since the connection was lost and I wasn't on the phone any more. However, I went ahead and read some of what I had been reading I think, maybe all of it, and then continued listening to the radio, because I wanted to hear what they were saying. I started to get increasingly nervous though, wondering if perhaps she had fallen. When the radio came to a break, I went down to check on her.

When I saw her there, sitting on the floor, her back to me, I said something to her, and she turned around and showed me her wrist, I thought to myself, "Oh, Mommy, what have you done?" I said something to her, talking softly, but trying to be upbeat.

However, I had a bad feeling about this, and thought of my grandmother falling and breaking her wrist a few days before she died. My mother had fallen before a few times, and severely hurt, maybe breaking, one wrist or the other, but she had always recovered. Now, for some reason, it felt different, like this was it, this was the one that would do it. I had already had a bad feeling about her putting the towel down for the cat, back when she did it, but there was nothing that could have been done. Any attempt to take it away or argue with her about it would not have worked out well, and I understood that she was trying to do something nice for the cat, that she loved.

It was almost like something now, though, of retrieving a distant, half-remembered memory, of what the fall and injured wrist meant. I was disturbed by this and tried not to think too much about it, tried to believe that everything would work out alright, like before. (I have this account recorded in a file, and while going through the file I happened to add some to this entry on Monday, Labor Day, September 5, 2011. It was a strange coincidence, Labor Days a year apart, though they didn't occur on the same day.)

Before the fall, things had felt a little odd that weekend. I worked on getting my email in better shape, reading some of it and moving some to folders for a possible later time. Looking back, it almost felt like I was marking time, waiting for something. By Sunday I had gotten a feeling that something was going to happen Sunday. I had no idea what, or if it would involve us at all. It turned out, of course, that it happened early on Monday, but exact dates can be hard to come by with these feelings.

Saturday afternoon, the Saturday before the fall on Monday, I had a long dream that seems closely associated with what happened. In the dream I had reached up to a light high on the wall outside where I worked, intending to demonstrate to the management people that it needing fixing, pulling at the two cords hanging from it, like before, hoping to make it act up like before when I did that. Before, it had started making popping and sputtering noises and glowing red and hotter around the base, and crumbs of red glowing concrete block were going off it and a larger glowing triangular chunk two or three inches across was flying off. Now it didn't do much, though, making only a little noise. But then the face of an end of a concrete block came off, glowing on the bottom and halfway along its length, and fell toward me. I was wearing long, heavy, black neoprene rubber radiator shop gloves for some reason, and raised my left hand up to fend the glowing piece off, and it hit the side of my hand, and my arm, and it seemed to hit my side too, and I fell down, and it was even partly laying on me for a few seconds. Everyone gathered around me, and they got it away from me and were standing around me bent over looking down at me. An ambulance was called and I was taken to the hospital.

This matches what happened in real life fairly closely, though it happened to my mother instead of me, and although I was burned while she was injured in a different way, we both fell, and both our left hands were hurt, and our left forearms, hers from where it had gotten hurt around a week ago, and both our sides were injured, hers from something that happened a week or so ago, and it was her right side whereas it was my left side in the dream. We both went to the hospital too, though my sister took her, instead of an ambulance.

It also had the feature of me waiting too long, in the dream waiting a few seconds while trying to get something I was working on finished, before going to see someone who was leaving and then finding him already gone. In real life I was reading what was on the computer and listening to the radio before checking on her. I also had had the feeling that she might have fallen, and an increasing sense of urgency, in the minutes before finally checking on her.

The dream also had the interesting feature of metal things being concealed inside stuff, to both spy on us and for other reasons, and when I tried to put the hands of a woman in a carriage under a scanner, that would see through what she was carrying, she resisted but when I finally managed to do it, I saw that her hands and at least half or so of her forearms had black metal in them instead of bones, that someone had for some reason replaced at least that much of her bones with metal. This could be seen as highlighting the part of my mother's body that she came to have a problem with in the fall, and might also be a reference to the hidden splint that they put on her, as well as to the x-rays she undoubtedly had at the hospital.

I also had an incident that Saturday night, where a bulb in the ceiling fan over the kitchen table made a popping sound behind me and burned out. The fan has two chains hanging down from it, for the fan and the lights, matching the two cords for the light in the dream, the light that also made popping sounds. The dream happened Saturday afternoon, before the bulb burned out that night.

I had a long dream Saturday, October 30, 2010, in the 3:00-3:30 AM area, a little over a week before she died, in which my mother came to my bedroom, looking a little younger. She lay down beside me and didn't say anything. Something seemed wrong, she seemed bothered by something. I looked at her face in the dim light. Her face looked a little puffy and her eyes were mostly rolled back at different angles, with dark red inside the lids and some around the eyes, on the edges of the eyeballs, and she had a bit of a grimace. I asked what was wrong and tried to comfort her. When I looked at her again, her eyes had changed to completely dark, a glistening dark with a reddish tint, almost completely a black color though. She talked a little bit I think, and finally got up and stood in front of the curtain, looking toward it. Her face was more normal now. She seemed upset about something though, maybe even with me some, though her face was mostly expressionless.

The dream has many things that matched what happened in real life. When she died, the light in the hospital room was relatively dim. She was laying in bed, and her face was swelled some. She had also had some problems with her eyes when she went to the hospital, with an infection, though they had apparently fixed that before she died. The darkness of her eyes in the dream, though, and their pointing up, seems to portend more than that. As for going over to the curtain in the dream, well, "curtains" is sometimes used as a euphemism for death.

On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, Election Day, my sister took my mother to vote. I went at a later time, then picked up my mother at my sister's house. I offered to take her to Burger King and get some supper to take home. I told her we had to stop off at the house briefly. As I drove toward the house, she reminded me about going to Burger King. I said again that I was just stopping for a little while at the house, then we would go. She said she wanted to make sure I wasn't trying to get out of giving her her treat. I took her to the bank, to get some money out. I told her on the way where we were, what we were going toward and going by. After the bank, I drove toward the Burger King, again telling her about where we where, while we talked about things. After the Burger King I drove toward home, and we continued as before, talking, with me telling her where we were, and where we were going.

As we went, I came to feel more and more that things were ending, that this would somehow be the last time things would be this way. It reminded me of when I had taken my grandmother home, decades ago, after celebrating her ninetieth birthday. I had kept looking at her and thinking that things were about to change, that this would be the last time things would be this way. The next day, in the morning, my grandmother fell and injured her back, and was taken to the hospital, and spent a long time getting well enough to go home. Then, at home, after getting better for a while, my grandmother fell and broke her wrist, and died two or three days later. It felt now like it had felt then, when I was taking my grandmother home.

Though I did not know it at the time, my mother had less than a week to live.

Late Friday, November 5, 2010, at night, the day after my mother went to the hospital, I was at home, and got a strange feeling of peace, that it was over. I tried to resist that, didn't want to accept it, got very upset about it, telling her, mostly in my mind, to stay, to hang in there, not to go away, to come back, over and over.

I had not been feeling well. My ankle had bled all over the floor, just before they came and took her to the hospital. I got a call from my youngest sister, though, to come down to the hospital, and I did, and I talked to my mother for a long time, and she laughed a lot. I am very glad I went. I was very shaky on the way home though, and an hour after I got back my ankle started bleeding all over the floor again.

On Monday night, November 8, 2010, I got a call from my oldest sister, saying that my mother was expected to die, and that I should go to the hospital, and then, while I was getting ready to go, my brother called and said her organs were failing and they were going to shut her off. This came as a surprise. She had seemed to be doing well while I was there Friday. I had not gone back, afraid that my ankle would start bleeding again, but I talked to my youngest sister on the phone Saturday, and she said that she was doing really well and was expected to be moved out of Intensive Care on Sunday. When I called my sister on Sunday, though, she said that my mother hadn't been having a good day. Now, on Monday night, I hurried down to the hospital, and got to spend some time with her, though she wasn't conscious. A lot of family members were there too, though I was given a couple of times to be alone with her. She died that night, a few hours after I arrived.

On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, probably around 4:00 AM, give or take an hour or two, I felt a presence in the house, and also heard something. It didn't feel like it was in the room. It seemed to be in the front part of the house initially, then at the far end of the hallway, then at this end of the hallway, a few feet from the computer room, where I was. The little dogs didn't seem bothered by it. I had been sleeping at the computer with the radio on, but wasn't asleep at the time, or didn't seem to be.

On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, probably around 2:00 to 4:00 AM, as I was sitting by the computer, with the radio on, trying to sleep, I drifted and went into a halfway dream state. I hadn't slept for a long time. I had been writing a book for National Novel Writing Month, and I went into a version of the character I was writing about, who now looked more like me, and my mother was with me, in place of his mother. She was much younger, maybe in her early forties. It was dark, and we were separated by a few feet, going down a street, bent over some, moving sneakily but fairly quickly. She was a little ahead, but not much. We sometimes talked to each other in low tones. I think it was mostly a residential area, but with perhaps a few businesses. It was filled with old buildings, with I guess you would call a cobblestone street. It repeated itself a time or two. We were on an adventure, going stealthily into an area where we might find someone I think, in one of the buildings further on. It was brief, but enjoyable.

On Friday, November 12, 2010, around 3:00-6:30 AM, more or less, I was sleeping at the computer with the radio on. I dreamed that my mother, looking very young, in her twenties, and with a very small waist, kept coming up to me, rushing up to me, as I sat there by the computer. She was in heavy black and white, like the old pictures of her, except that it was heavier, with a dark outline around her. She seemed very dynamic, walking swiftly up to me, bent forward slightly, her arms bent, but moving back and forth some as she walked, coming toward me with an intent look, like she was on a mission, her face smiling a little, but also looking intent. It happened over and over, one right after the other. It seemed more like a vision, instead of a dream, and matched the physical situation I was in, sitting there in the chair, my head down, my eyes closed.

At my mother's funeral, on Friday, November 12, 2010, I went down the aisle and looked at her in her coffin. As I looked at her, for a moment, for an instant, another version of her seemed to recede several feet away from me, away from the body in the coffin, through the side and the open lid of the coffin, a version of her that was alive and several years younger, partly sitting up, looking toward me with her mouth open slightly, a slight smile on her face, almost of slightly uncertain expectation. She was looking toward me, seeming very comfortable herself, but looking a little unsure of my reaction, of what my reaction to her might be. I drew back, blinking and shaking my head I think, turning away from her. I looked back a few times, but the vision was gone now. It seemed astoundingly real, though, in the brief instant of its happening.

I thought about it many times in the days and weeks and months that followed. It seemed very real at the time it happened, but very brief. I wondered about it, and wondered whether it was real or just a trick of the mind, but at the moment it happened I was greatly affected by it, and had to leave the area of the coffin for a while.

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010, around 3:00-6:00 AM, I dreamed I was driving from mid-to-northern Arizona, back home. Some other people were with me. It was daytime. I was on a divided highway partly cut through hills. Roadwork was going on. My mother was with us, looking younger, maybe in her late forties. She was alive and alert, but somewhat shrunken down, her hips and especially her legs, with her legs shorter and tiny feet. We were taking her back for her funeral, but were experiencing delays due to the road work. I think my grandmother might have been with us.

Apparently on Thursday, November 18, 2010 in a sleep period ending at 9:30 AM, I dreamed my mother fixed sandwiches for me, Jimmy Dean type stuff. I got six Chapsticks, and reminded her to put them on the sandwiches....

Apparently on Thursday, November 18, 2010, in a sleep period ending at 12:30 PM, I dreamed that my mother was trying to fix something that she was calling shrimp or something like that, that she had bought at the store. We had had it before sometimes, in my history as it was in the dream. It wasn't really shrimp, but looked like a little person, maybe three feet tall, with wispy trailing strips like antennas, coming from the sides of the forehead and maybe shoulders or sides. I was talking to her about it, and started saying that it looked like a person, how much it looked like a person. She was saying not to say that. I kept on doing it. I was finally saying that it was a person, that it was really a fairy, or maybe more likely a pixie, or maybe an elf....

On Monday, November 22, 2010, around 5:30-9:30 AM, I had an extremely real-feeling dream in which my mother came back, suddenly appeared laying on the rug in a hotel room, as I was talking to my little sister. My mother looked a little irritated, and perhaps a little confused. I was somewhat surprised to see her, and a little confused myself. I told my sister she was here, then went to her and lifted her to her feet, tilting her up. She felt perfectly solid, perfectly real, perfectly three-dimensional. It didn't feel like a dream at all, it felt like she was really there. She seemed around sixty. She was wearing clothes that she used to wear, an old faded blue-purple blouse with flower designs on it and a dark skirt. I was glad to see her, but a little confused because I thought we had just buried her, how could she be back?

We talked about various small things, going into the room beyond the fireplace. She seemed to be getting younger, closer to fifty. My sister went with us, also talking to us. We talked some about the get-together party that had occurred, and maybe about how they would be surprised to find that she was back. I said, in responding to something, "and the autopsy they did and the cut up pieces that they buried."

My mother looked at me briefly, looking a little disturbed, and then said, "Yeah." (In real life no autopsy occurred.)

She seemed to be a little younger, under fifty now. She talked about going on an airplane to another state, one a few states over, to the east. My sister was going to take her to the airport. It seemed she had to leave pretty soon.

She went into the bathroom and changed into overalls, like a farmer might wear. In real life she would never wear such things, but it was probably a reference to the farm where she grew up.

My mother and sister talked for a while, and continued talking, and I said, suddenly feeling that I should give a warning, though it seemed a bit like a party pooper, that "You never know how long these things will last, it might be two hours, or an hour," while privately hoping that my warnings were groundless, that she would be here much longer, days or months or indefinitely, as the dream quickly faded into being awake, and she was gone.

The dream occurred on the 47th anniversary of the day John F. Kennedy was shot.

I was extremely cold at times in the couple of weeks after my mother's death. Especially earlier, closer to the time of her death, and in the days afterward, concentrated more in the first week, where I had on a coat and a blanket and couldn't get warm no matter what. I was shaking with the cold, even one time in the late afternoon, sitting by the TV. The heat wasn't on back then, which I'm sure didn't help, but it seemed more than that, as I felt colder than I should, given the actual temperature (this IS the Valley of the Sun). Around a week and a half after her death, I put the plate back in the ductwork in the attic, which blocked off the cold air and helped noticeably, but I shouldn't have been that cold, especially in the late afternoon, especially since I could feel the warmth, the heat, all wrapped up like that, but it still couldn't help.

Ghosts are frequently associated with cold spots. Art Bell, the radio talk show host, had experiences with being cold after his wife, Ramona, died. He has since remarried, but after his earlier wife died he was getting cold a lot, and one time he was even sitting in the shower with the hot water on and still couldn't get warm.

Sometimes in the days and weeks after my mother died, as I wandered around the living room, it seemed that I could reach out my arms and hug her, hug a space in the air where she was. Sometimes I wondered about it, and thought to test it, and tried to turn and hug another area, but it didn't feel that she was there, it felt empty, and that she was in the other place.

On Friday, November 26, 2010, around 4:00-6:00 AM (the day after Thanksgiving), I had a long dream, in which I was very tired, and driving. Then at home, I saw my mother again, and she sometimes seemed connected to what was happening to her body in the grave. We walked around to the back of the house, talking. The cat that she liked was alive again too, and she took it into the house with her, through a door that didn't exist in real life....

On Saturday, November 27, 2010, around 6:30-9:30 AM, I had a dream in which I ate some strange food, then went to my grandmother's house in Arizona, then went walking and found her. Then my mother came, and we went walking toward our house, with me carrying my grandmother, but I somehow got lost and we went through a block with lots of rooms that seemed to be a medical place. Then somehow I was in a race in the 1970 Cadillac. Then I went home and found that my mother and grandmother and youngest sister were there with some kids, but there were two sets of mothers and grandmothers, almost identical, but with one set looking worse than the other.

On Saturday, November 27, 2010, maybe in the 10:00-10:30 AM area, I was in the computer room, drifting but not asleep. I had a half-vision of my mother and grandmother off to the left side of me, a few feet away, in the room, coming toward me some, but I don't think they ever got closer than a couple of feet. They were standing there looking at me, apparently talking about me sometimes, concerned about me, though I didn't hear what they said and I'm not sure I actually saw them speak, though it seems I did a little.

On Friday, December 10, 2010, around 10:30-11:40 AM, I dreamed that I was in what seemed to be a living room, perhaps in my house. My mother was in there, laying on the couch, partly toward me. I was standing on the floor by the couch, leaning over to her, and shadowy figures were moving around nearby, but most of the area was a gray fog. The housekeeper was there, cleaning the house, though I heard her more then saw her. I could only see her a little bit, a dark figure in the fog. She spoke a little though, briefly, sounding distant. I asked my mother why the housekeeper was there cleaning the house, and she said something like, "Oh, she just was," and seemed happy about it, in a distracted way....

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, around 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, I dreamed that I was in my bedroom. My oldest sister was a few feet away. We were talking, and she had a big smile on her face. I heard the tinkling of the bells my mother used to call me with, small ceramic bells with a handle on top. I heard them twice, a few seconds apart, faint but clear and sharp in tone, nearby, like maybe in the hallway just outside the room, and my mother was there, coming in through the open door, looking maybe around fifty, maybe less, in her faded violet-purple flowered blouse and a dark skirt I think. She was just partly seen, partly faded out, almost like an impression she was there, but I still felt like she was solid, at least the part that was visible, less so the parts that weren't. I was looking at her to the side, to the right, without turning my head much, and she came in, a presence or partial presence, partly seen, but definitely there.

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, around 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, I dreamed I was with my mother at an old school, looking for books in a room full of old books, then a storm came....

On Friday, January 14, 2011, around 5:30-7:00 AM, I dreamed that I was thinking that my mother was dead, was remembering and thinking that it was too bad, that she wasn't here to tell something to I think, then thinking suddenly that it was found to be a mistake, and that she was alive, and I was glad that it had been a mistake and she was alive again.

On Friday, January 14, 2011, around 7:30-9:15 PM, I dreamed my mother and my brother and I, and one or two other family members, probably my sisters, went to a place outside of town somewhere. It seemed like a very small town, a settlement. We stopped at a place with a Old West appearance, a store with a large flat lot in front, unpaved, scattered with fine light brown gravel. It was daytime. Everyone seemed much younger. The girls were still children, and sometimes my brother seemed to be around ten or twelve, though sometimes he seemed to be older, in his teens. I'm not sure what we were driving. It seems we might have originally been in more than one car.

We were in the store for a while. I don't remember exactly what it was, but I think it was kind of a restaurant/tourist store/convenience mart type of thing. I think my father might have been there too, or in the area, or had been there, or was coming there. I'm not sure I actually saw him.

It was getting time to leave, and we got in the car and drove off, with my mother driving. She was talking, and I was talking sometimes too. The girls were also talking, mostly carrying on their own conversations, sometimes only one-way. I turned back as we drove out of the lot, away from the somewhat tall sidewalk that ran along the front of the building, with the tall, thin, square wooden pillars that lined it, and thought I saw my brother back there, looking toward us, seemingly around ten years old. I didn't see him in the car, looking toward the back seat on the driver's side. After a few seconds I said to my mother that I thought we left him back there. She questioned what I was saying, repeating it, then said to me, reassuringly, that he was here, and I turned and looked at the back seat on the passenger side and he was there.

We drove for quite a while, though it didn't seem too long in the dream. It was late at night, and we were driving in the mountains, on a road that might have been unpaved, though it was flat and in good condition. We were in the 1973 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon now, blue with a white top. We stopped at some stores on the left, a series of perhaps three or more stores connected to each other, almost like a small mall. My mother went in, and the girls went into the store but not very far, going in and looking at the stuff in the bins and on display and then coming back out, going back and forth. My youngest sister was talking and giggling. My mother came back and we started off in the car again, with my mother driving like before.

My mother drove slowly forward in the dark, away from the stores. A few other buildings were scattered back a little ways from the road, but not too many. The road mostly went through a cutaway section of the mountains here. Directly ahead of us were two or more huge speed bumps that had been put in. I remembered going here long ago. The speed bumps were like large half-cylinders made of dirt, laying across the road, smooth and perfectly shaped. At first there just seemed to be two of them, separated by perhaps twenty feet or so. They were big enough that it looked difficult to get over them. My mother slowed to a crawl, slowly going over it and down the other side. I thought the car might scrape but it didn't. Initially they seemed to be perhaps 15 or so inches high, but they got higher as we approached them. As we went toward the second one, which had been the same size as the first one earlier, was now quite a bit taller, perhaps two or three feet. We managed to get over it. It was so large it was like going over a small hill, with the car somehow able to clear it, with maybe only a minimal amount of scraping.

We headed toward another one then, slightly farther apart than the other two. It was huge, maybe four or five feet high. Ahead, another car was coming, moving faster then we were, though still not very fast, maybe less then 20 miles an hour. I thought it would get a surprise when it got to the bumps if it didn't slow down more, and thought it might have to slow abruptly as it got to them. It might be local, though, and familiar with them, and somehow knew what it was doing.

I didn't see how we could get over this bump, though, it was so huge, and began cringing and partly turning away, even sometimes briefly closing my eyes. I was talking about it, worrying about it. My mother was talking back to me, reassuringly, slowly and tired sounding, her head tilted back some as she slowly drove toward it. We started to go up it, the front of the car tilting up in the air. We headed toward the top of it, and I could see over it, and it looked like we were going to make it after all.

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