I had a nightmare Saturday morning. I remember crying in my dream and I was so heartbroken that I physically started crying—which woke me up. That’s never happened to me before. Usually I wake up in a sweat, but I’ve never woken up sobbing.
I had a dream that my mom was living in an apartment in Oakland with her three little kids—one of whom was a newborn baby. In real life, my mom only has me and my sister. But in the dream, neither of us were with her. I heard the news that she had been killed by a stray bullet and rushed to the apartment to find all the kids crying. I was sick not only because I’d lost my mom, but I also felt sorry for these crying kids.
That dream combined murders from my past. When I was in eighth grade, a second grader and her mom were killed. The details are fuzzy, but I believe an angry boyfriend of the second grader’s adult sister went to their house in search of his girlfriend. She wasn’t there so he took his anger out on those who happened to be there. Our eighth grade teacher came back from the funeral and described how the youngest daughter screamed for her mom as the casket was lowered into the ground.
When I was a junior in high school, our classmate was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was the only child of a widowed mother. Time heals and you soon forget that these events occurred and that these people ever touched your lives. It’s been so long since I’ve thought about my classmate but I vividly remember the early morning phone call. I thought it was a joke. What a tragic moment that was in high school. The flag flew at half-staff for weeks. Months after the funeral, I bumped into his mom when I was volunteering at Kaiser. She gave me a huge hug, then broke down. It probably pained her to see us, going on with our lives.
It makes me so grateful that I got to see the world, that my parents get to walk me down the aisle, that I get to celebrate my marriage with friends and family. So blessed.