Yesterday a great old mystery was solved. My grandmother left me with a dream when I was a child, a dream from her deathbed — a dream that my mother transmitted to me when I was 18.
I'm 32 now. I figured out the meaning yesterday.
My maternal grandmother Rose dreamed that she was rescuing children from a burning building. Apparently, I showed up ...
(creepy part forthcoming)
... as a grown man.
And I said to her, "Nana, Nana, why are you doing this? You're killing yourself getting these children out of the burning building!"
And Rose said, in her dream, "I'm doing it for you, Rand, I'm doing it for you."
And Rose made my mom promise that she would tell me of the dream when I was grown.
"Tell him, I did it for him."
Never knew what it meant.
Yesterday I'm with Jen, at an intimate memorial service for her very dear aunt who lived with her for 18 years and was in many ways Jen's confidante and teacher.
To get a better idea of who her aunt was, I asked the family to pull out old photo albums and loose photos from long ago.
I was looking at the pictures of these kids — now grown — Jen, her brother Brian, her brother John ...
... the joy on her aunt's face in the photos ..
... the joy on the children's faces ...
... I looked up and I saw Jen playing with her little nephew. A kinder little boy, I've never seen. So polite. So curious. So well behaved. Prettiest eyes. A true little gentleman.
And all of this had time to sink in. And last night, I remembered my grandmother's dream.
When I was looking at those photos, I was filled with something — joy I think — seeing how cute Jen was as a kid, seeing her with her nephew, seeing the brothers all grown (Brian is several heads taller than me) ...
... It reminded me a lot of the childhood I had known, but forgotten. And the pictures of the kids reminded me of good kids in the world, unlike my own experience with kids recently. And ...
... I felt that joy, that hope, that ... something. I hadn't felt it in ... forever. Not at any point when I was married did I feel this feeling of, "Everything's OK. There is hope. There is a future to protect and a reason to protect it. This is it. This is why."
Now, I'm not going to have kids. My mind hasn't changed.
But I'm finding that there's a shift in me today. I'm just a little more future oriented, now that I know that my grandmother saved the children from the burning building ...
... my burning building ...
... that I might have hope. A lot of hope.