My mother has had this same dream twice. She lies on her bed in her room surrounded by votive candles. On the steps to her room upstairs are all the people she’s met in all her life. The steps are filled, a parade of people in the order she encountered them, all coming in to say goodbye. She offers each of them one of the candles to take with them when they leave.
Her cancer has returned. They found it early, right where they were looking for it given her history. She is in a fantastic position for a person with cancer of being free of symptoms. Numerous treatment options remain available and she’s confronting her disease with the same courage she confronted her first cancer more than ten years ago, her second several years after that, and her third last year, but more importantly she’s already choosing to identify with the light of which the bulb is the carrier, her consciousness of which her body is the vehicle. One doesn’t have to be sick or have cancer to benefit from that.
Talk about dreaming in metaphors, what a gift! Life’s light never blinks out, it’s carried on by those whose lives we touch, by the people telling her goodbye and leaving her bedroom carrying one of her votive candles. She knows this but her dreams are speaking through symbols, reminding her in the language of emotion. And her dream speaks to those of us who love her in that same language, going past what we know, that life is temporal which means loss which means pain, to an emotional plane where we exist in a form of denial of these realities because they’re difficult to bear. Right now the world is filled with humans living. In a hundred years, in other words tomorrow, this same world will be filled with an entirely different set of humans living. All of us over a certain age, say five or six, know this but keep it at a certain distance, we call it not dwelling on it, but by not incorporating that awareness emotionally we risk missing experiencing the mystery and wonder of being alive. The metaphor is simple but profound. A gift to her as she lives with cancer and a gift she shares with those of us struggling to live with her living with cancer and trying to match her bravery. I love you, Mom.