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From a heavy sleep, I awoke at 7:30 A.M., with these stunning dreams:

It is Sunday afternoon, visiting time in the hospital. Many relatives fill Mother’s room where she lies in bed, awake and animated. I notice a smiling tiger looking at me from under her bed, its furry tail wagging, occasionally thumping on the floor.

I’m awake in my hospital bed as a clerk hands me a box wrapped in lavender tulle and silky ribbons. Inside is a deep-throated white orchid. There is no card.

These dreams contain sparks of hope from my Dreamer, a restoration sorely needed from yesterday’s severe grief.

Sunday afternoon refers to a period of receptivity, comparable with Creation’s Seventh Day, with opportunities for new learning. The image of hospital suggests a milieu of care and treatment for the new learning to occur. Mother, my extraverted shadow, although ill, welcomes her relatives seated and standing around her bed. No one seems to notice the smiling tiger, a spirit animal with multiple associations. This one is tame and serves as guardian into the unknown. I claim it as I continue moving through the symptoms of my terminal illness.

In the second dream God, disguised as a clerk, presents me with a gift/grace; its wrappings of regal lavenders speak of royalty, as in the Kingdom Jesus preached in the gospels. But the gift of the deep-throated orchid, a rich feminine symbol, heals some scars of the wounded feminine in my psyche, more of the beautification process before my transition—but more still to be done.

Once again, the dreams evidence God doing for me what I cannot do for myself. I’m humbled.

“Here, I brought this for you to wear. It’s cozy and warm—One of our volunteers made it for our patients. They’re always doing such nice things for us,” said Christina, the CNA assigned to me for the night. Then, she handed me a white flannel gown with prints of small red cardinals perched upon bare branches.

Because last Friday night’s storm had knocked out the electrical power in my home, its restoration being uncertain, I obtained a respite bed at Evelyn’s House, the BJC freestanding hospice facility where I availed myself of their oxygen and nebulizer treatments for my lungs. I hoped to make my transition from this facility and welcomed the experience of its services. I was not disappointed.

Seasoned and skilled staff, still masked for protection from Covid, welcomed me and promptly came to my assistance when needed. Their responses to my questions orientate me to the facility and my private guest room with its tasteful framed prints affording colors of the outdoors. A large window and a glass-paneled door looked out upon the private patio with an iron table and chairs, a bird-feeder, a lush meadow with four-year old-trees, the age of this facility. Two fauns spent much of Saturday afternoon with me.

Covid restrictions kept me in my room where I continued my exercises, read 1776, the historical novel by David McCullough, and prayed for those around me. Not a sound from anywhere did I hear, those twenty-four hours I was there.

And during the night, the cardinal-print nightgown contoured my body with cushiony warmth. I’m grateful for my stay at Evelyn’s House, there being only sixteen guest rooms for the use of the entire BJC system. 

At 7:30 A.M., I awoke with this dream:

Suddenly, I’m aware of giggling and being hugged by my five-year old brother Mark, his warm body wearing a T-shirt, shorts, and sandals, the cowlick at his hairline giving him a striking appearance.

I’ll never know if “Mark” really visited me, or whether he represents a projection of the happy child from my unconscious. Either way, I perceive the dream as gift to be cherished.

He passed on July 21, 2017.

I miss him …

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