Mom’s Message to Me in My Dream

February 1, 2019

A few weeks after my mom died in 2013, I had a dream about her.

She was co-piloting a plane I was flying. As soon as the plane was in midair, I gasped, then turned to her and said, “Oh my gosh, I just remembered: I don’t know how to fly!”

“Yes, you do,” Mom said.

“No, I don’t!” I responded, my panic soaring right along with the plane’s altitude.

“You do, you just don’t know it,” Mom assured me. “Trust me, and fly.”

My heart started pounding, and I decided my best course of action was to stay very low to the ground. Anything loftier than that was too scary, too dizzying, too out of control.

So I flew really low, banging into buildings and trees. My dream accommodated a host of such crashes while still enabling me to stay aloft, so the plane looked like a pinball, bouncing from one obstacle to the next.

“You’ve got to go higher,” Mom said.

“I can’t!” I screamed. “I’m scared!”

“Then you’ll just keep running into things and you won’t go anywhere,” Mom told me.

“But I can’t keep us safe!” I sputtered breathlessly.

“We’re not safe now,” Mom pointed out.

So in desperation, I took a deep breath, pulled back the yoke and pitched the nose of the plane skyward. Up, up, up we soared. It was terrifying, but at least we were moving forward, no longer stymied by everything in our path. If Mom trusted me, I figured, I could trust myself. And I wasn’t alone; she was guiding me every step of the way.

If you’re wondering if all my dreams are as cogent, philosophical and fully formed as this one, the answer is definitely no. But I don’t believe it was a dream. I believe Mom was visiting me, urging me onto great heights and reminding me she’d be my side throughout my journey. She was reminding me that life requires risks, faith and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. Mostly, it requires momentum. A large part of life is simply moving forward.

I’ve never forgotten this dream, and I loaned it to the protagonist of my 2016 novel, “Tragedy Girl.” Speaking of my novels, Mom was always my first reader, oohing and aahing over my manuscripts and making me believe I could actually get published one day. She made me believe I could do anything I wanted.

She made me believe I could fly.

Mom would have been 98 today. I miss her desperately, but I’m so happy to know that she’s still by my side, guiding me every step of the way.

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© 2019 Christine Hurley Deriso