I miss my Aunt Wanda a lot. We haven't lived in the same town in years. Sigh. There are sometimes that I miss her even more than others. Yesterday was one of those times.
Ring-Ring! I see my mom's number on Caller ID. It's actually numbers spelled out ("twentyonetwentyone...") because she lives in a senior independent living complex. Those numbers, interestingly enough, don't have anything to do with her actual phone number or her apartment number. It's quite mysterious.
"Hey!" I chirp.
"It's your mother!" she informs and continues on without taking a breath, "I had a funny dream last night..."
Wanda where are you!? You are the one Mom called every morning for 10 some-odd years after you both had retired. She would wake up. Pad to the kitchen in her little worn pink floral slippers. Turn on the coffee pot. Head back to her room to jump back under the covers to pray for her children. Return to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Then, dial your number for a quick one-hour chat. You listened intently to all of her bizarre dreams. You said things like "Well!" and "Is that right!?" when she paused long enough to sip her coffee. You saved me HOURS of running around in my kitchen with a corded phone tucked under my chin listening impatiently as she spilled all of her dreams while I scrambled eggs with one hand and folded clothes with the other.
"Last night, I dreamed that I had a daughter - not you, I didn't know her at all, but it wasn't you - who was about to get married. I remembered that we sold my sewing machine at my estate sale when I moved to Lubbock. I was so sad because I wanted to make some dresses for all of my new grand-babies."
"That was sad!" I said thinking of Aunt Wanda wondering if she was on her 3rd cup of coffee by now.
My mother has a very active dream life. She can't remember what she ate for breakfast, but she can remember all of her dreams.
"I dreamed that I was teaching school, and one of the boys brought his pet monkey to school. I said, 'You can't keep a monkey at school!' and he said, 'Mr. Waldrop [mom's principal for years] said it was OK!' So I marched down to Mr. Waldrop's office and told him that it was me or the monkey! I told him that if he let one boy bring a monkey to school, all the boys would want to bring monkeys to school!"
"I dreamed that I was in a play, and I couldn't remember my lines. So, the teacher had a girl walk right behind me the whole time speaking the lines while I mouthed them."
"I dreamed that I was singing in a mall and a man came up to me and said, 'You should be a recording star! You have a beautiful voice! It's every bit as good as Deanna Durbin's!'"
"I dreamed that we were all going to a big dance and we all had dates, but I didn't have a new dress to wear. So, my friend let me borrow one. It was pink and had lace on it."
I could go on and on and on.
She went through a time when she called me every few days to tell me what song she woke up singing.
"Good morning, Mom!"
"Guess what I woke up singing this morning?!" she would ask.
"What did you wake up singing?" I would yawn.
"Shall we gather at the riiiiiiiiv-er, where bright angel feet ha-ave trod?" she'd sing as sincerely as if her former choir director at First Methodist Waco was standing before her in the kitchen.
A few days later...Ring-Ring!
A sweet, shaky, soprano voice softly would begin singing, "I come to the gar-den a-loooooooooone, where the dew is still on the ro-o-ses! And the voice I hear...falling on my eaaaaars, the Son of God dis-clo-o-ses!"
[That one always gets me.]
"Do you wake up singing a song?" she would ask.
"Nope. I just wake up with bad breath," I would yawn.
"Don't you think it's NEAT that I do?!" she would exclaim.
"Kinda neat. Kinda creepy. Are you feelin' OK, Mom?"
"I feel great! I just think that it's NEAT that I wake up singing! That's one of my favorite songs! Have it sung at my 'celebration!'" ["Celebration" = her code word for "funeral"]
"Hmm. Let...me...find...a...pencil so I can write that down. Found one! In...thuh...garden...got it!" I would say with no pencil in sight.
Now that the Meems is 85, I love to hear her dreams. The best part is that she laughs really hard when she tells them. I love to hear about her morning songs. The best part is that she sings them. Some day I'm going to miss her dreams and songs.
Annnnnd, He WALKS with ME!
and He TALKS with ME!