Last night I held my mother.
In my dream I am my age now, but my mother, Mary Jane, is only slightly older than me. She is asking for help but I am anxious to leave.
I explain that I am desperate to to see my friend. A friend, who in that strange overlay of waking life inhabiting our dream states, is struggling with a horribly painful situation with her own daughter.
But in this dream I suddenly see Mary Jane; not as my mother, but as another weary woman. She simply needs a hug. I stop my rushing away to hold her.
Her shoulders are thinner than I remember. Her head leans into my shoulder. Her skull feels pronounced. It makes me think of those robins that used to crash into our living room window. I would hold their impossibly light bodies. Such fluttery hearts and tiny fragile bones.
When did she become smaller than me? When did I become the stronger one?
My tears and the cold knowledge that Mom has been buried for years is what wakes me.
I lay in the dark and try to remember every detail. She was so warm and real. We were friends.
We were just two women holding each other up.