Sally and the very odd dream

Sally visited me in my dream last night. But it was a very odd dream.

In the dream, I had to go to the hospital for a series of tests. The doctor started describing the tests to me. “In the first test,” he said, “I’ll inject dye into you and you’ll have to tell me if you feel a painful sensation all through your body.” Yikes. He injected me and sure enough, it hurt like a beast clawing my insides. Luckily, the pain didn’t last very long. He got the result he needed and we moved on to the next test.

“In the second test,” he continued, “I’ll give you instructions and see if you can carry them out.” Well, this test seemed far easier. “I’m going to give you this ketchup bottle and then” – his voice cut out. His lips were still moving, but it was as if the audio had been cut. Instinct told me to scramble off the doctor’s table and start running, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Scraggly, long-haired men jumped out at me, and I squirted them with ketchup, thinking maybe that’s what I was supposed to do. I kept running and squirting until finally the nurses stopped me, brought me back to my original room, and tried to settle me down, but I was very upset.

That’s when I noticed my mom and dad were huddled in the corner, whispering to each other and obviously very concerned about me.

“Mom, what are you doing here?” I said, shocked. “You’re not supposed to be here.”

“Missy,” she said, sternly. “If something really serious is going on, I’m going to be there.”

The dream ended abruptly. Half-asleep, I reflected back on the dream. Sally believed that when the dead appeared in your dreams, it meant they were coming to visit you. I believe that, too. So does Dad, who said he dreamed about Mom the last night he slept in the house before selling it.

The dream reminded me of a poem that Laura’s mom gave me after my mom died. The poem is called “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson, and it’s often recited to people who are going through tough times. In the poem, the man sees two sets of footprints, his and the Lord’s, but during tough times he only sees one set of prints. He asks the Lord, “Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?” The Lord replies: “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”

Perhaps Sally, all 5-feet-1-inch and 104 pounds of her, is offering to carry me. Thanks, Mom.