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In Sunlight or In Sorrow

It’s been almost 20 years since I have seen my Mama.

Except in dreams.

I often dream about her.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. For all my alpha-male posturing, deep down I am a Mama’s boy.

She was in a dream I had last night, along with others in my family.

I dreamed about a painting a big white farm house. It wasn’t the big white house I actually live in, but in the dream it felt like it was home.

It was early morning in the dream, just as dew was burning off the grass.

My favorite time of day.

The house sat high on a high spot in the mountains. The sun was at my back, and nothing but  valley below. That means that I was probably on the North Carolina side of the Smokies.

Believe it or not, it is different from the Tennessee side.  Tennessee is rougher, where on the Carolina side, the hills seem to roll more gently.

A gravel road let up to the house and in the distance, I could see there was a car coming.

I came down off the ladder and found Granny standing on the porch.  She wasn’t herself.  Well, she wasn’t her current 92 year old self.  She was Granny of my childhood.  The way she was when I first knew her.  In her late 60’s.

“Kept us waiting long enough,” she said, looking over the valley toward the approaching car.

“Who is it?” I asked.

She didn’t answer me.  She just walked back into the house where I heard her call my mother’s name then announced, “He’s here.”

I had a sense in the dream of someone important arriving, so I decided to clean myself up from my work.  I went around the house to a hose, but my Grandaddy was already there, in his underpants, showering himself off with it.

“I saved the inside for you,” he told me.

I had to hurry, so I raced around to the front of the house.  But before I could get inside and head for the bathroom, the car arrived.  The Attorney stepped out and grinned that big mouthy grin of his.

I didn’t know who he was in the dream, but for some reason I ran into his arms.

He held me close and whispered, “You forgot about me, didn’t you?”

I don’t remember what I said back, or even if I did say anything.  But suddenly I knew exactly who he was. And was so glad to have him there.

My Mama (pre-illness) came from inside and said to him, “You thirsty after your trip?  I’ve got some Sprite.”

Sprite was my Mama’s favorite thing in the world.

I turned back to the house to look at Mama, behind her were my Grandparents.

With beaming smiles, they all motioned us to come into the house. My father never showed his face, but it just felt like he was there, too.

Everybody in my family was there but my brother.

In other words, it was everyone who has passed away.

I think I’m going to die before The Attorney.

{ fin }

ADDENDUM – 1/16/2010: A comment from David made me realize that I may have led some of you to believe that Granny has passed in real life.  Please forgive me if I have alarmed anyone.  Granny is still with us.  I guess I had decided that if, in the dream,we were with my parents and grandfather, then Granny and I had passed as well.  So, maybe the others of you are right.  The dream is not so much about death.

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  1. I’m thinking it’s more that the rest of your family, that you have lost, is looking down and telling you that it’s all very good, and not to forget the Attorney.
    Don’t let go, and enjoy the sprite!

  2. TL TL

    I agree with Brenton. Everyone is giving you their approval of the attorney. Sounds like they are welcoming him into the family.

  3. Difficult, these memories, these dreams. I love the way you’re able to describe your family, your home, the emotions, the feelings….and even the drinks! Is it possible for me to send virtual hugs through the internet? Because I do.

  4. David David

    You said it was “everyone who has passed away….” Are you telling us something in a round about way? If you are, I’m so sorry. You’re a sweet soul and so deserving of everything good. God bless you and the Attorney.

  5. Chris Chris

    It’s a dream nothing more and nothing less, but is’s a nice one. Dreams are ways the brain helps us deal with stuff that has been on our minds.

  6. I like to think that dreaming of those that have past on is their soul reconnecting with us.

    A very beautiful dream eloquently described.

  7. Dave Dave

    I found this post interesting because I had a dream about my Mom, too.

    Yesterday was the anniversary of Mom’s death. Perhaps I willed the dream, wanting to see her, wanting to have a warm, peaceful feeling to carry with me throughout the day.

    The dream was vivid. It was Christmas and Mom was under the tree passing out gifts. The one I opened was a red cast-iron peanut roaster.

    “Mom” I said, “you know I’m allergic to peanuts. What am I gonna do with this?”

    She looked at me. She was her 40s self and it felt like I was my 20s self.

    “Give it to someone else” she said.

    She smiled and the dream ended. Her smile made me smile and I realized that was the gift I wanted to open.

    Dreams are weird and trying to draw some reason from them can bring peace, joy or fright.

    I’ve read where some experts believe dreams to be the mind’s way of taking out the trash, so to speak.

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    Take from your dream what you will, but what I got from yours, Tony, was love. You were surrounded by it. I hope it left you with a feeling of peace.

  8. Daryl Daryl

    Tony, This is so sweet. Personally I think you are trying to tell yourself that it is OK for you to be with the attorney.

  9. Chris Chris

    It’s a beautiful dream. i have frequent dreams of loved ones that are gone. I like to think of them as “visits”, like they’ve come to see me. It always makes me happy.

  10. Paul from Q Paul from Q

    “He’s here”–how peaceful.
    But I don’t understand why you felt you needed to clean up: you’re pure. But it was your dream so I’ll shut up.

  11. Sue Sue

    I guess it is your unconscious mind trying to reassure you that everything will work out for you as far as Granny and the Attorney. It sounds like a wonderful dream Tony!

  12. royster royster

    i liked the comment from Granddaddy about the “saving you the inside.” To your family, does that mean he thought you could use the indoor shower or tub? It’s like he knew it was important to you, both the At-Tony and your mom. We called my Granddaddy on Mom’s side Man-man, and he was always doing stuff like that for my older brothers…i didn’t get to really know him cuz he was struck by lightning out fishing when i was really small, barely born, not sure what year that was. Moms must be on the karma right now, seeing Dave’s comment…and i’ve had a picture of my Mom at Xmas in the care facility (didn’t make it back to FL to see her) on my Facebook profile pic all week. My brother sent it to me for Xmas, and he never does that kind of thing…even handwrote the special card with the pic in it. So many folks on Facebook commented on it, really liked that. It has prompted me to start a month of Facebook family portraits on the profile pic…i can tell how important yours is to you as well. i know it’s not easy in families, mine is no picnic, but the desire to show (and recieve) the care you hold for each other…that’s important. i’m a proud Mama’s boy too…i don’t think i can ever be as good a man as she was/is or her sister, my Aunt, either. i think you feel that somewhat with Granny. My Big Mama (as we called her, we figured she had to be Bigger than Mama if she bossed her around) was practically a saint and so funny….i miss her everyday. SO glad you have your Granny, Tony. And the memories of the rest, too. That you’d share them with us means a lot. Alpha Male or not.

  13. royster royster

    PS and it doesn’t matter who might go first, you or At-Tony. What’s important, as you implied in the VERY hot and sweet NYE post, is that you have this time together. Memories will comfort the survivor, as this post proves.

  14. Your idea is the best, but there are many points to order the written essay from the buy a paper service. That should present students a chance to get A+!

  15. Chris Chris

    It’s all good Tony!

  16. Lee Lee

    My mom passed last June and to help me accept her being gone, I begun reading books by a medium named George Anderson. I had read one book of his while I was stationed overseas in Okinawa, Japan. Not sure why I picked up that book, I was never a believer of the hereafter. I’m a believer now–that dream you had was your mom and relatives telling you how happy they are for you and the Attorney. Isn’t it great the message they’ve sent you. Your family members that have passed will send you messages, whether in dreams or during your waking hours. I know sounds crazy, but believe it. Lee

  17. Gregg Gregg

    Tony, you are being told that your loved ones trust you in the Attorney’s arms. Enjoy!

  18. Harland Harland

    This is a most sensitive and inspiring piece. I personally recommend you see the movie “a single man.” I think it is an amazing film.


  19. Jay Jay

    This is odd for me to read because my mother has dreams like that all the time about people dying and they wind up dying. Who is the new person inside the house who isn’t dead?

    Maybe he’s the one who will comfort you after Granny’s gone, which may be soon? I had a similar dream about my godmother, but she’s still here (granted, with Alzheimer’s and colon cancer in a private home), so I don’t know. Maybe there is no meaning? Maybe there is?

  20. California Alex California Alex

    Alpha male? Posuturing? I never read that. Good ole mountain man? Uh-huh. Cerebral? Yup. Sexual? Oh yah. Gay? That too.

  21. irisgirl irisgirl

    This is a beautiful and moving post, Tony, and the comments/interpretations are a wonderful complement to your words.

    This also touches me personally, as I remember my own mother, who has been gone 12 years on January 7. She often visits me in my dreams, usually set in my childhood home. I start off happy in most of these dreams, but end up forcing myself awake in sadness, and sometimes tears, when I realize that she is not actually there.

    What powerful forces our mothers were, and are.

  22. Joe Rogers Joe Rogers

    Ahh, Tony – This post made me think. Just think. So many of your writings do that but this one stirred things I can’t begin to describe. I don’t visit here very often but your honesty and caring nature have always appealed to me. Glad to know that things are going as well as they can. Many Blessings through the New Year. – Joe-in Wyoming

  23. You big, rough, sweet sprite.

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