I cried in my sleep last night. It’s been quite a few years since that has happened, actually; I think the last time was because I was having a nightmare. But last night was different. Last night, I dreamt a dream so vivid… one I wish that could become a reality… That’s why it hurts even now, a few hours after waking – I know it will never happen.
My grandmother has been deteriorating the past couple of years. It’s to the point now where she can’t be understood all that much when she talks; she grapples for words, and even if she does find them, they’re typically so jumbled that you don’t know what she’s trying to say. Last night, she spoke to me so coherently.
I don’t remember where we were, but I recall that we were conversing and having a great time just being able to TALK again. At one point, she said that she had started new medication. I thought to myself, “Wow, this medicine is AWESOME! I have my grandma back!” But then… I just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.
“Grandma… I don’t mean to upset you… but I have some questions to ask that might be hard to hear or answer. But I want you to be honest with me.”
She looked at me and said, “Alright.”
While moving closer to her so that I could touch her arm and look into her eyes, I asked, “You know when it’s hard for you to talk… when you just can’t find the words? What is that like?”
My grandma then started to make “hunt and peck” motions with her fingers, as though she didn’t know how to fluently type on the imaginary keyboard in front of her. I knew exactly what she meant by that, so I didn’t press the issue any further.
“And when someone can’t understand you… and so they just agree with you and say ‘Oh yeah’ and change the subject on to something else. Do you understand what’s happening?”
She said she did.
I think it was at this point that I felt a sudden urge to call my mom so that she could have at least one more good day with my grandma. And it’s possible I called her, but I don’t remember that part of the dream.
I just remember waking up with tears streaking down the sides of my face wishing it hadn’t been just a dream.