Years ago my aunt lived with a woman named Bev. As a preteenager at the time, I thought Bev was a little bit weird. She loved old-time music and played the accordion, and she even had a one-man band that she would bring out and play if she was sufficiently wired. But she loved to have fun, and she loved us kids as if we were her own. I still have several birthday cards from her.
Now that I’m an adult and have an interest in folk music myself, I wish I could spend some time with Bev, as I’m sure she would enjoy the concerts we frequently attend. But Bev and breast cancer did battle, and the cancer won. Dammit.
Anyway, yesterday my aunt came by for a rare visit, as she lives in Florida now. We had dinner and a good time. And last night I dreamed about Bev.
I have never been a “lucid dreamer” – I fall for every impossible ludicrous scenario I can invent. So there I was, talking to Bev as she lay in what appeared to be a hospital room, though apparently healthy, and not believing my eyes.
“Bev? Is that you?” I say.
“Yes, it’s me, how have you been?” She hugs me and I hug back, bewildered.
“I’m fine, but what have you been up to?”
“Oh, this and that.”
Just then Mr. S came into the room. “Dear, this is Bev. I’ve told you about her.” Greetings are exchanged. Mr. S becomes distracted and I have a moment alone with her. “Bev . . . can I ask you something? And it’s OK if you don’t want to talk about it.”
“Sure, go ahead.”
I hesitate, and finally whisper, a little teary. “Bev . . . we thought you died.”
“Yes . . . you had cancer and you got very sick. You had to have a mastectomy. . . . You showed me your scar. . . . I was young at the time and it was kind of upsetting, but now for some reason I think it was a good thing and it doesn’t bother me anymore. But Bev, where have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been around.”
“I can’t believe you’re really here. Do you think I really dreamed all that about you being sick – or is this the part that I’m dreaming?”
She smiled. “I think you’ll find that this is the part that’s a dream.”
Fade to black.
I’ve been awake for a good hour, and I still feel as though Bev was here, fifty miles and twenty years away from where she died. I was a minor figure in her life, but all the same I’m glad she stopped by.
Anybody else had visitors like this?