At 7 A. M., I awoke with this reassuring dream:

“Will we see Jesus when we cross over to the other side?” I asked a venerable old priest.

Laughter crinkled his sagging jowls as he said, ”Of course, we will!” His mirth touched me deeply.

And I still feel his mirth as I write this blog, an antidote to last night’s soft fall after using the bedside commode. Accustomed to shutting its lid and standing up at the same time, I lost my balance, the bed catching my upper body, my sandaled feet scrambling to maintain my awkward position lest I slip onto the floor. Long moments of helplessness passed until I edged my way atop the bed, then shuddered. Sleep came immediately.

The dream snippet afforded me a window into my psyche, filled with the presence of a venerable old priest who has companioned me throughout my life. Again, he responds to a critical question, one often in my awareness as I move through suffering related to aging and living with terminal illness, the experience of most seniors I have known.

Too often the dregs of illness have eclipsed my imagination of its vision of eternal life, my symptoms holding me hostage. Like siroccos or hot dust-laden winds, hopelessness blinds and suffocates—Nothing lives.

In such circumstances, my venerable old priest appears bridging the chasm that separates me from the Sacred. He knows of my communion with Jesus, the Christ, critical for maintaining sanity in the midst of diminishment. In a time unknown to me, all this shall pass.