Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Yellow Trampoline

Last Thursday night, I dreamed of my cousin Miriam (Mim) bouncing on a yellow trampoline. Different from the one above, but you get the gyst. The trampoline was in the driveway of the home where Mim lived with my Aunt Kaye and my Papa when she was a kid. The old RV my grandfather owned parked on the right side, the trampoline on the left. It was all very vivid.

In the dream, as she bounced, she was laughing this outrageously happy giggle that filled up my sleeping ears and reverberated after I awoke. She was still a teenager in my dream, the way I remember her best. In bell bottom denim pants and a heathered t-shirt with piped sleeves. Her curly, crazy pigtails popping up and down by her face. Occasionally, she'd say the word "RISE" through her laughter. Clear as a bell, but wrapped in that intense laughter.

I called out to her, loud. But she didn't answer. She was so lost in what seemed a moment of profound joy. I called again before I woke up in my room, smiling.

My dad called a couple of hours later to tell me that Mim had passed away that morning after a long battle with breast cancer. I hadn't had any idea that the end was so near when I last spoke with her in early July.

I called my Aunt Kaye yesterday. I felt it important for her to know about my dream. My Aunt Kaye believes in the sensitivity some of us (including Mim) have - those connections to the things we cannot see. So I told her about the dream.

And she said, quiety. "Isn't that funny. Two weeks ago, someone gave us a big yellow trampoline. Mim thought it would be good for her daughers and Ann (her sister) to use. It's out in the yard by your grandfather's old RV."

So here's the thing. It's got me thinking of the "what happens" after. After this - the here and now - I mean... And about whether there never really is an after - just a now that we "live" in different ways. And about whether I should continue to welcome in and in turn pass on the things I sometimes know - from dreams or feelings... It's always been easy to let them in - it's the saying it out loud that I struggle with.

But the yellow trampoline is just another confirmation for me that time and our measurement of it are just things dreamed up by humans to define what we can never really define and that the reality of our reality is that you never really know what IS REAL.

I do know though, that Mim is resting (or bouncing, as the case may be) peacefully. That she left this time/place/reality to take the next step - and that she did it with some level of joy in her heart.


George said...

That has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

I am sorry for your loss but the beauty of this story outweighs the sorrow.

Through tears of happiness I extend my condolences.


tmana said...

It is these experiences of exquisite beauty that help us through the periods of sadness and loss that they often accompany. At first I thought "rise" was part of a "you're running low" dream, but now I see it's a lot like a dream I had when the first of my grandfather's brothers passed away. I woke up exactly 18 minutes after the time of death. In Jewish tradition, the number "18" and the word "life" are identical. For me, the connection is now both explicit and powerful, and strengthens with each experience. May you and your family be comforted among the mourners of Zion, and may you find peace in your memories of Mim.

Sandra Miller said...

Wow... incredible.

Nicole, this post really hit home-- not simply because you summarize perfectly my own beliefs regarding what I've always thought of as "the unknowable." But because many years ago, when I was eleven, I had an experience very similar to the one you describe here.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but your sense of how Mim left, where she's gone... I am sure you're right.

Minnesota Nice said...

That's a lovely story. I accept it as fact that we "moonchildren" (astrological Cancers) have a greater connection to nonordinary reality. I know that you, me, Vivian, Sandra, are all cancers. (Maybe some more will step forward).

Rachel said...

gorgeous story.

I've had similar experiences...

Major Bedhead said...

What an incredible story. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Lea said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Nicole. I can't get the image of your dream out of my head, as I'm sure you can't...the trampoline, the joy and laughter you described,and "RISE"...just amazing, and comforting in a way. There's more ahead for Mim.

Colleen said...

I'm sorry.
Reading this gave me goose bumps. I also had a similar experience the night my mom died (20 years ago).

Trampoline said...

Wow, you definitely have to keep listening to these feelings. They must be there for a reason, you never know when you might need them!

Scott K. Johnson said...

I too think there is something to those feelings and connections, and we all should pay more attention to them.

A very beautiful story of your experience which exemplifies just how special Mim was.