Four years ago one of my mentors passed away from breast cancer. (Ok…I realize the story isn’t starting out so cool….but stick with me…the cool part is coming up.) This woman was awesome. She loved to sing, and she had an amazingly quirky sense of humor. She laughed very easily and loved life no matter what! On more than one occasion she gave me advice that has stuck with me through every flavor of circumstance, and her faith in God was unshakable. She was, in a word, incredible, and I loved her.
When she died, she left two young girls who were verging on their teen years. I loved her girls too, as I often babysat them and took them to Chuck E. Cheese or out for ice cream. They were fun girls, and the reminded me of how my sister and I used to have such a love/hate relationship. Since her death, my contact with the girls has mainly been limited to myspace and facebook messages, because not long after she died, they moved to another state. The oldest of the girls recently started college, but with the exception of a brief church visit several months ago I haven’t communicated with either of them in about a year.
Then, out of nowhere, two nights ago I had a dream about the oldest girl. This was odd to me for a couple of reasons. 1. I hadn’t seen, talked to, or heard about her recently, and 2. I had a much closer relationship with the younger of the sisters, so it seemed odd that I was dreaming solely about the older one. In the dream, it was just the two of us. We were in a dark room, and she was crying. I could feel the presence of her Mom, but the interaction was happening between me and the daughter as if her mom was simply an onlooker. Through her tears she looked up at me and said, “Do I remind you of her?” I smiled at her and said, “Yes. Very much. You look exactly like her and you have her spirit.” Then I pulled her to me in a hug and said, “This is a hard time for you isn’t it?” she nodded. And that was it.
I forgot about the dream by the time I woke up. But that evening, I saw the daughter change her facebook status. It was an upbeat message, nothing alarming, and it didn’t really register anything in me. So I got up and headed into the kitchen when I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS WITH THE MEMORY OF THE DREAM. I returned to my computer and debated for a minute. Should I send her a message and tell her? I always wonder about stuff like that…if the person isn’t depressed already, do you really want to make them sad by bringing up something painful? But I felt led to share with her, so I sent her a message telling her that I didn’t know why I dreamed what I did, but I thought maybe she needed to hear it.
She replied to my message this morning. She was thrilled that I had had that dream. It turns out that her mother’s birthday was a few days ago (which I had no clue about by the way) and she had been thinking about her and missing her a lot. One of the things that she was really sad about was that she felt like she didn’t get to know her as well as she would have liked, and SHE HAD BEEN WONDERING IF SHE WAS TURNING OUT LIKE HER. She said my message made her cry, but in the very best way…and she was so happy to know that she was similar to her mom in so many ways.
If there was ever a moment that I doubted that people can speak to us from the afterlife, this experience melts the doubt away. There is something to be said for keeping someone’s spirit alive after they have passed on, but it’s even more of a treasure to realize that they can continue to connect with us and their loved ones…as long as we’re paying attention.
I’m glad I got to be a part of this experience and that I was able to connect the daughter to her mom….
...and it was a precious gift to unexpectedly be in her presence again.