At 4:45 A.M., I awoke with this dream of my mother:

My mother has been admitted to the Women’s Ward at the St. Louis Psychiatric Hospital and I go to visit her. I tell the guard my mother’s name, Mary E. Moloney, and several times, I hear her name called, echoing crazily upon the Old World marble interior as I walk.

This dream, from the personal unconscious, teaches much.

The repetition of Mary E. Moloney, in loud tones, over the intercom unnerved me. It’s my name, as well, despite my never having internalized it; only upon legal and business documents does it appear. Could this be another wake-up call? 

The first occurred after Mother’s funeral, standing at the Moloney graveside at Calvary Cemetery. My eyes fixated upon the small plate soldered to the side of the steel vault intended for her coffin: in raised gold letters, it read: “Mary E. Moloney – 1909-2008.” I was stunned; then hollowed—Had I had ever lived my own life? She was now gone. No other Mary E. Moloney lived that I knew of. I had the remainder of my life to claim my real name—This, I am doing in the time allotted me.

So the dream opens me to the richness of my name, Mary E. Moloney, integral to my birthright and grounds for profound thanks to Mother and Creator God.