Last Friday night, I dreamed an older woman cooked dinner for me. She was in her 60's, slightly built, with a straight, healthy back, and white curly short hair. She made me some sort of cheesy quiche-looking dish, and a bowl of some tomato stuff. It was cheap American food, made with canned ingredients. I got the impression that she thought it would approximate Italian food because it had tomatoes and cheese in it.
That woman was not my grandmother... but she was trying very earnestly to comfort me in the way that Grandma would have. I knew this wasn't grandma. I tried so hard to just try the food, and express my gratitude... but I broke down in tears. I sobbed uncontrollably.
Two young people, a man and a woman, both in their twenties, removed me to a small cozy room with a fireplace and dark wood paneling. I sat in an overstuffed cordovan leather chair, with a red velvet throw, and cried and cried and cried. "You don't understand," I choked. "Grandma was my favorite relative, the only one who loved me, the only one who really cared at all about me. We had something special. She was everything to me... and now she's gone. And now I have to make the zaples, and the fried smelt, and the galama... and if I don't no one will." I couldn't stop crying. I felt guilty, and embarrassed, but overwhelmingly sad, just utterly, completely heartbroken.
The young man looked like Greg Grundberg from Heroes, but thinner. He had that open, sweet face, and that genuine need to make someone feel better. He wanted to rescue me. I could tell he was tending to things I couldn't see, things outside the room. I hoped he was apologizing to the nice lady for me. How could I have rejected such a lovely gift? Please, I know she meant well, please tell her I'm sorry...
The young woman was brunette, slender, pretty, with dark eyes, wearing black pants and a blue sweater. She sat with me and talked soothingly to me, it's ok, cry all you want, we can stay here as long as you like.
Days seemed to pass.
Finally, I said to the girl, "Thank you." She smiled at me with those eyes, huge and dark and endless. "I think I'm ready now," I said to her.
Instantly I was in a large banquet hall, darkly lit, with candles on the table. My two young friends were with me, asking if I was comfortable, could they get me a drink? No thank you, I said.
We were seated at the back of the room. It occurred to me that there might be a way to move up to a table closer to the front, and I wondered what that might be. At the head of the room was a raised dais with a table on it - like we were at a wedding, at the seat farthest from the bride and groom. And yet, as I strained to see whatever might be on the other side of the darkness, across that sea of people, I felt as though I was right where I belonged... for now. I knew I had something to accomplish, and someplace to go, but for now, I was exactly where I was supposed to be... and I had friends.
My sadness was profound. Every cell of my body, every fiber of my being was saturated with grief. I didn't cry anymore, but I sat there, present, in the moment, feeling the sadness completely enveloping me like a dark grey woolen blanket, layers and layers of it... almost a comforting grief. The comfort that comes with acceptance, with letting go, with not fighting anymore. I accepted everything, in those moments. My place in the room. My companions. My loss. I was aware.
I will never see my Grandmother again. And, as hard as it is to type this, as frightening as it is, I will be alright.
I will be alright.
I will be alright.
I will be alright.
Someone is looking out for me. Maybe it's Grandma, wherever she is. Maybe it's her best pal, St. Anthony. Maybe it's my friend, the Morrigan, who, like me, is often misunderstood, and gets a bad rep. Just because you tell people things they don't want to hear doesn't mean you make them happen, or that you enjoy delivering sad news.
Maybe the young man is a guardian angel. Maybe he's G. Maybe he's me.
I woke up feeling more loved than I have felt in... a very long time. I felt it in the marrow of my bones, in the blood pumping through my battered heart, in my skin and hair and the tears flowing from my eyes. Saturated in love. The feeling stayed with me for hours.
* * * * *
The image of Matt shouting defiantly to his dad "I'm a good man! I'm a good cop! I'm a good father!" may never leave my mind. Something deep inside me responded to that. I knew exactly how Molly felt, hearing that, knowing she was loved, knowing she would be rescued. My Hero, she was thinking. My very own hero.
I am my own hero.