I dreamt of my mother in the pre-dawn hour this morning. One of those tiny snippets of dream that could only have been seconds in real time, but dragged on in sleep.
I was on a bus with my sisters and looked out the window as we crossed the main street in my downtown. There she was, standing in the street near the line of parked cars. She was perhaps 50, my sisters and I our current ages.
She was dressed in a mid-calf pencil skirt and matching short-waisted, long-sleeved jacket—one of her iconic outfits, grey and blue plaid or checked (already the vision is fading)—which are probably still hanging in a garment bag in the guest room closet. Her feet were clad in black fabric pumps, a small cut out at the toe. A Jackie Kennedy hat perched on her head, the netting folded up over it. Her long since white/blonde hair in a tight perm at the ends held it in place. She wore the blue cat’s eye-shaped glasses with sparkles. A black leather handbag hung from her crooked right arm. She stood tall, so much as her 5’2″ frame would allow.
Her other white-gloved hand was raised in greeting—or farewell.
She was not smiling, but her face was at peace. I knew that she knew she was saying goodbye. That she had not tried to arrive before we left. That she was not trying to stop the bus.
I was frantically trying to call her to tell her to wait, that I would come, that we hadn’t meant to leave without saying goodbye; or maybe we had, but I was sorry. But I couldn’t see the screen on my phone for the glare and my tears, I couldn’t remember her number, I couldn’t get my fingers to push the right buttons. Rebecca tried to help me, but it was too late.
And then she was gone.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. I miss you.