Monday, March 7, 2011

What Dreams are Made Of

In my mom's culture, signs are prevalent as are old wives' tales. Have you ever heard of Evil Eye? Silly, I know.
Ultimately, though, our faith is in God alone. And I'm pretty sure HE sent me a sign in a dream this afternoon.
A few months ago, my mom approached me about helping find my grandfather's family. I worked at one time as a librarian in the local genealogy hub. So, I thought this would be easy and fun -- like solving a mystery.
Well, unfortunately, there's little to go on ... except this information shared by momma.
At 15 months, my grandfather's mother (my great-grandmother) died giving birth to a little girl, Maria Angelina. It was a choice between her or her baby girl, and she chose herself. Only six months later, the baby girl would pass away, too. My great-grandfather, being a single working dad now, sent my grandfather to live with family, particularly plenty of aunts. My grandfather returned to Mexico where he met and married another woman and had children with her. One day, they came back for my grandfather. Papaw was very ready to rejoin his family only he overheard his stepmother say she did not want him. So when his father later approached him about coming to live with him, my grandfather said no, that he wanted to stay with extended family. It was not until he was an adult that papaw reunited with his half-brothers and sisters. He never knew much of anything about his mother. On his birthday, Oct. 4 1989, one of the aunts who had helped raise him decided she would give him papers about his family she had held on to and kept from him for many years -- birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. My grandfather was never able to look at the information. He died the next day, Oct. 5, 1989, of a massive heart attack.
My grandmother would later put away the papers for safe keeping. Unfortunately, age has set in and a couple of moves later, and Grandma can't remember what she did with the papers. My aunt did find something behind a photograph.
Recently, she and my mom have taken up the challenge of finding my grandfather's family. Not sure why the urge to pursue now, but of course I want to help. I guess age and the realization of our own immortality drives us. For me, Millie's diabetes spurs me. What if she or another member of the family needed something medically? Or maybe there are cousins who need us?
So mom and I have been discussing, and I have begun researching. It's been on my mind.
But today, my Papaw paid me a visit.
I was having what used to be a typical dream for me as a sorority rush advisor -- a sorority recruitment dream. You know where you plan an event and you're not ready. Anyway, I was in a room full of sorority sisters and then I turned around, and all of a sudden I was outside with all of my family. I mean everyone. My mom kept saying an announcement would be made soon! I was for sure it was that my cousins were expecting again. All of a sudden, a bus headed over a hill toward us. I could tell by shadows, it was full of people. Immediately, I began sobbing. I turned over my shoulder. And there he was. My grandfather. He stood there silently looking out over the land. I walked over to him and hugged him so tight. He never said anything but hugged me back. Amazing how you can feel and smell and touch someone in a dream. I turned and told my family, "It's papaw's family." We all ran to the bus to meet them. Everyone, except papaw. I startled awake, crying. I cried trying to figure out what had just transcribed in my sleep. And once I composed myself, I called my mom to tell her.
She got the same out of my dream. My papaw had come to tell us he wants us to pursue our search for his mother's family, and he will guide us to them. Eventually, we will find someone. Mom thinks he did not come with us because he knows who they are already. He's in heaven, probably even with some of them. He knows who they are. I thought that was such a lovely sentiment.
Mom encouraged me to compose myself. She knows this is a "sign" God sent to let us know this is something that would certainly please my grandfather. And yes, I cried because of this revelation. But also because I have so very few dreams with my grandfather in them. I was so grateful to see and touch him.
What a precious gift!

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