Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mama!

I awoke shortly after four o'clock this morning with thoughts of my grandmother.  She was born on October 23, 1923 and died on May 31, 1999.  Although it has been over twelve years since we said goodbye to her, she continues to visit me in my dreams.  About three and a half years ago, I had a dream that I walked into my bedroom and she was sitting on the edge of my bed, cradling a baby girl.  This alarmed me because I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time.  Within two weeks of this dream, I miscarried.  I later learned that this fetus was indeed a female.

Last night, I dreamt of seeing my grandmother's face. There were no spoken words or reason for alarm.  Then, I felt a strong sensation of arms wrapped around me that actually woke me.  I looked around to see that my husband was facing the opposite side of our bed.  I turned to lie on my back, as cherished memories flooded my mind. 

I remembered a time when my mom was concerned about letting me go on a boat trip to a neighboring, uninhabited island named Scrub with a group of close relatives and friends.  Neither my mom nor my grandmother was going on this trip although several adults and older cousins would be present.  I begged and cried and pleaded; yet, my mom said "no."  My grandmother said to my mom, quite firmly, "let the child go."  So, I was able to make this very fun trip.

As a mother myself, I can now understand my mom's concern.  We were traveling in two small motor boats to an uninhabited island with limited supervision.  The boat ride itself took about 15 minutes, but we were gone all day.  Now, when I think about the fact that no one wore life jackets during those times, I even cringe. 

My grandmother, like many grandparents, had moved beyond the fear that often accompanies raising your own child.  She understood my need for freedom and other life experiences.    She also had a strong faith and likely trusted that I would be just fine.  I know that the light within me continues to burn bright because of her amazing love. 

"Grandparents are a family's greatest treasure, the founders of a loving legacy, the keepers of traditions that linger on a cherished memory.  Grandparents are the family's strong foundation.  They have a very special love that sets them apart.  Through happiness and sorrow, through their special love and caring, grandparents keep a family close at heart."  -Author Unknown

Love to everyone,

Kathleen O'Malley, DC

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