Only just a dream

I was all set to write about the Taylor Swift concert Saturday night, and the super-big, amazingly fun surprise of having Nelly — one of my all-time favorite people — make a surprise visit on stage. But then something happened that was wonderful and terrible, all at the same time and in equal measures, and the concert and Nelly were summarily usurped, no longer important. That something? I met my mom in a dream. It was wonderful because it was so real; it was terrible because it was only just a dream.

I’ve got a heavy issue on my mind, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve done some research, but need to do some more. I’ve solicited advice and opinions, and I’ve tried to listen to my heart. I know what I need to do, but I don’t want to do it, and so I’m ignoring that little voice inside me that usually guides me — and with startlingly accurate results — because I want the answer to be something other than what it is.

Just before I went to sleep, the issue was in the forefront of my brain, and I was thinking how nice it would be to talk to my mom about this issue. How sweet it would be to lay my troubles before her, and let her do that things that great moms instinctively do when their kids aren’t sure which way to turn. She was really on my mind, and I guess that as I fell asleep, my brain took that next step and fixed up a little reunion between my sweet mama and me via a dream.

It seemed so real.

She looked like she used to pre-cancer. She sounded like her old self, not the weakened, wizened cancer voice she spoke with toward the end. She had her great big smile plastered on her face, and her infectious laugh rang out and rolled over me in the most perfect waves (those of you who knew her know that laugh, and I hope to high heaven you’re hearing it in your mind’s eye right this second). She called me NanAnn, which no one else ever called me, and it was the sweetest sound my ears have heard in a long while. She enveloped me in one of her “squeeze the stuffing outta ya” hugs, and I lapped it up like a kitten with a saucer of warm milk. Even the hug. Especially the hug.

She was back. My sweet mama was back. And it was like she’d never left.

The location of our reunion is fuzzy, but it’s not important. We didn’t have a lot of time together, which I suppose is quite symbolic when you think about it. No one else was around, but it was tremendously noisy. I have a hard time focusing when there’s a lot of noise, which of course my sweet mama knows. She told me that noise was the cumulation of all the swirling thoughts in my head, and that if I could set this big issue aside, the noise would quiet and the answer would come. I told her I didn’t want to do that; I want her to tell me what to do. She gave me that look, that familiar look, that communicated a ton without her ever having to say a word. I remember that look, and I knew then & there that she was not going to do the hard work for me. “Why can’t something for once be easy?” I moaned to her. “Do you want it to be easy, or do you want it to be right?” she replied.

How annoying.

I want both. Duh.

But it doesn’t work that way, and out of all the people with hard-luck stories out there, I for one should know this.

How ironic that when Nelly took the stage and surprised the audience toward the end of the concert, it was to sing a song called “Just a Dream.”

“I was thinking about her, thinking bout me

Thinkin bout us, what we gonna be?

Open my eyes, it was only just a dream…

So I travel back, down that road

Will she come back? No one knows.

I realize it was only just a dream.”

Dumb day

My blog friend Barb writes about her life on a charming island in Maine, where she makes homemade sourdough bread and the most beautiful jewelry with handmade beads and where her husband is a lobster fisherman. Oh, how I wish they were my next-door neighbors. I love her jewelry creations, and I could eat lobster every day and not complain. Ditto for the homemade bread.

Barb recently wrote about a dumb day in which it was drizzly and grey and she wasn’t very productive in the studio. It must have been contagious, because her mother later remarked that it was a dumb day for her, too, and Barb’s hubby said the exact same thing when he returned from fishing. I liked the phrase, and have decided to borrow it.

I thought today was going to be a dumb day, for many reasons. First was waking up with a sore spot in my back. Must have slept in a weird position, because it sure didn’t hurt when I went to bed. I’m in a rotten mood because things still aren’t sitting right with me from Mother’s Day, and I can’t lift my black cloud until the matter is put right. My kids had a squabble right before it was time to leave for school carpool, and if there’s one thing that can ruin my morning real quick, it’s squabbling kids. My runnin’ buddy is playing tennis instead of joining me at the gym for cardio, and my other gym rat friend, Melissa, has to be at her kids’ school for a fun run, which frankly, doesn’t sound like one bit of fun to me. So that leaves me to face 45 minutes of cardio without my girls to talk to, which means the time will drag on and on. I’ll have to resort to relying on Nelly and Justin Timberlake for companionship. If only my ancient iPod had video capabilities, I could look at this to distract me. 

After the gym, I have an appointment with Tammy, my beloved lymphedema specialist, to continue breaking up the scar tissue under my belly incision from The Big Dig. I have several spots that are about the size of a marble under my skin, and they must be obliterated. She uses a combination of massage, her Hivamat machine, and some firm pressure to make this happen. It alternates between being quite pleasant (the massage) and weird (Hivamat) and just plain awful (firm pressure). Luckily, I adore her and we have lots of good chats while she’s doing her thing. She moonlights as a therapist, at least for me, and she knows a lot of my innermost thoughts & feelings. Getting those out and leaving them in her little studio always feels good.

Add in a trip to the grocery store, one of my most dreaded chores, and having to spend some time today going through medical bills and fighting BS regulations, and it seemed destined to be a dumb day for me. Some days are like that. But lo and behold, hope arrived in the form of an email from my friend David. Y’all will remember him as the creative genius behind the illustrated story of the Drs S.

Well, he’s rescued me from my dumb day by announcing that he’s created an official logo for this little blog. It’s cute and creative and fun and full of meaning. I will unveil it in a separate post, both to keep you dear readers on the edge of your seat and also because it would be wrong, just plain wrong to put this little gem on the same page (screen?) as a long, boring, and pitiful description of my dumb day. Or what seemed destined to be a dumb day but has been rescued. Thank you, David.