The moment I began to pray before my icon of Mary yesterday morning, I saw the overall theme of the dream from which I had just woken. It was truly astonishing, because during this dream, I had liked my mother.
This may not sound very significant, but it was a first for me. During the dream, I wasn’t afraid of her. I was able to compliment her on her appearance, and give her some direct feedback. It was extraordinary to feel comfortable about being around her.
None of these things ever happened during her lifetime because I was afraid of her. I hated being with her, and loathed her touch and the sound of her voice. I took care to avoid her as far as possible.
Over the years I have had many nightmares about my mother – horrible dreams in which I’ve tried to stand up to her and woken up shouting. However, in last night’s dream I actually enjoyed her company.
In real life, I never loved or trusted my mother, but this dream gave me my first ever glimpse of what a much healthier mother/daughter relationship might feel like. So, I’m going to hold on to the mother I spent time with in my dream: a smart, trim, approachable woman in a fitted, green, woollen suit, wearing red lipstick; a woman who willingly contributed to a community event in an official capacity; chatty, relaxed, and able to accept honest feedback.
As I reflected on my dream, it felt strangely healing, as if a lifetime of emotional suffering and mental illness could somehow be redeemed by a single, brief, positive experience.
I thanked God for giving me this dream about what my mother could have become if her own life had been different, for having dreamed about having a good relationship with her, and especially for the brief, precious experience of liking her.