I just woke up a few short minutes ago. It's 5:30 in the morning and I just had one hell of a dream that has really shaken me. Already, the details are fading from my mind, but I'll try to recap what I can.
I'm with my Mom and we're in some kind of store. And I have no idea why we're there or even where we're at, but I guess I work there because the people are acknowledging me as if I belong and one woman asks me if I'm working today. I recognize her from the Food Bank where I do my volunteer work, but I can't recall her name. I tell her I'm not working, but I am wearing some kind of uniform. She need some help with something and I tell her that I'll be back as soon as I go vote so I can help her. And I mention to Mom that when we finish voting, I have to help that lady and it'll probably just be moving a few things.
So we go to his row of machines and I see a woman standing at the electrical outlets and they're unplugged. I tell her that she had to plug them in so we can go vote and she makes a comment, "since it's you, Dougie" and plugs the machines back in. Several of the machines brighten up with light and they're like the old quarter machines from years ago. I climb into what seems to be an old roller coaster seat, but I'm calling it a train, and sit next to Ma. And then I get back out and go deposit two dollars worth of quarters into the slots, to get the machine moving and then sit back down in my seat.
A cover slides forth and the train / cart is moving. Lots of turns and moves and we are in this parking lot like area. Looks more like a car wash actually. Our ride is shuttled into a row of cars and Ma is pointing over to the row next to us and commenting how that a person there looks like a former neighbor of ours. We get out and start walking down a path and this is the final step before going to vote. Ma is falling behind and she's quiet. I turn around and she's having trouble walking. Her ankle, which swells on occasion, is just rubbery and she can barely walk. Two women, one of whom just passed away last week, Sadie and another woman, who I recognize as the one who "plugged us in" earlier are there and they each place an arm under Ma to help her walk. She says she's got to vote and they bring out a stretcher for her as we enter what I guess is the voting room.
I"m standing there distraught, being ingnored by everyone else and Sadie is looking at papers and calling out names for Ma to "vote" on, and Ma keeps saying "Anyone, but Clarence". Who the hell is Clarence. And the door busts open and my sister, Terri comes storming in. Where is Ma. She looks at Ma lying on the stretcher and she demands that we take her back to some place and get help. And we pick up the stretcher - Me on one end and Sadie and the other woman on the other and Terri leads up very quickly up and across a gravel road and I'm thinking to myself that this can't be right. Terri can barely walk on her own and yet, here she is, walking so fast in front of us, gravel keeps flying back at us.
And we get to the room where we're headed and Terri is ignoring Ma, but screaming at Sadie and the other woman, ripping them a new hole about why they didn't call her immediately before Ma got hurt.. My other sister, Lynn, is now there too and she isn't saying anything, but just staring at Ma with the strangest, lost expression on her face. I ask where Steve is and they say he's not answering his phone. Lynn wants to know why I didn't call anyone and I point at the Blazer, my car which is suddenly there, and say that I don't have my phone and it's locked in the Blazer. I hear a voice from Ma and she's barely able to move and is trying to hand me keys to the Blazer and makes a comment about how I can't forget my keys because she won't have hers anymore.
And then I woke up. That's the dream, as best I remember. Now I just have to figure out what it means.
I'm thinking it's just my subconcious way of putting a few things in perspective. Ma turns 75 years old on this coming Saturday and although she won't go see a doctor, her health is not what it was, even though she won't admit to it. Lately, we've had a few talks where she's spoken about the house and everything around here and how she wants me to stay here at the house if anything ever happens to her. I'm her primary beneficiary and the executor of her estate. It's not that I asked for it or want to be, but I guess that she feels that I'm the one who's most capable of handling things if the need arises.
But handling what exactly? My siblings are all physically handicapped. My sister has had a series of strokes, starting with when she was 24 and she's not, either physically or emotionally, capable of dealing with much. Hell, most of the time, the medications she's on make her more like a zombie than a real person. My brother is an alcoholic, bi-polar, and has had three heart attacks thus far and is well on his way to another one. And my other sister, she's fighting MS, as well as alcoholism and even though she's rather strong and capable, she can be a handful in her own right.
I was thinking lately about what happens to them if anything happens to Ma? She looks after them all to some extent, does their laundry, drives them all to their numerous doctor appointments, makes sure they get to the store, and just does all those "Mom" things that they take for granted. I'm a capable person, at least I like to think so, and I can handle stressful situations if I need to do so. I could handle, I think, final arrangements and dealing with the estate and putting things in order and all of that stuff. It's just pull the emotions inside, put on the business face and go to work and get things done. But what about the family. If anything happens to Ma, does that responsibility of looking after all of them fall on me and my shoulders?
I think that's what this dream was about. I realize Ma is getting older and I notice that the health is failing somewhat and I see little things and wonder if the mind isn't slowly failing as well. And I'm wondering to myself, can I do what she's done. If we lose her, can we endure and survive or will we all be lost and the family dissolve and die?
I'm thinking about this stuff and I realized something. This dream just really knocked it home for me. Damn it, I'm scared as hell. I have these questions and I'm wondring, will I be strong enough to do what I'll have to do and will I be able to shoulder the support for my family I'll have to do - or will I buckle under it all and just give up and become lost in the transition, never to be seen again?
I just don't know.