A Weary Angel

I had been asleep little more than an hour last night when I was awakened by a disturbing dream about my mother. She was wearing a very nice but unfamiliar dress, and struggling with a large suitcase on her bed. Her movements were impatient, angry, almost violent. When I asked her where she was going, she looked at me with wild eyes and shouted that she was leaving, that no one could keep her here. Her face was wet with perspiration, darker, fleshy, and unnaturally large. For a long, horrible moment, I wondered what to do. I knew she had nowhere to go, and would be lost the moment she left the house. She shouted again, her voice bearing waves of frustration and despair. I held out my hands to stop her. . . .

When I opened my eyes, I was surprised that I hadn�t cried out in my sleep. Light shone under her bedroom door, but all was quiet. Once again, she had fallen asleep while reading.

I checked the time. It was about twenty minutes before one. As I drifted back to sleep, I could feel the dream trying to reassert itself. I fought against it briefly, but failed. About five minutes later, my arms and legs jerked and my eyes opened again. I had won after all. The dream had departed for another realm.

I have been staying here with my mother for six months now. It�s hard to live this
way � hard to sleep in a strange bed, most nights alone; hard to hurry back and forth between this life and the life I try to lead at home; hard to work; hard to rest; hard to carry on; hard to keep my mother on an even mental keel; hard to keep her diverted from her own dark thoughts; hard to remind her of so many things she used to know.

It hurts to say she is luckier than most. In the strangest, saddest way, I am lucky too. I am like a ghost, or a weary angel. I cannot rest until my work is done. May her next journey be easier than the one she�s on.

November 20, 2006

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