I’m not the person in our family who usually has insomnia – that’s my wife. But for the past few weeks I’ve been awake in the wee hours of the morning. I wake up with the task of my dream still at hand.
One early morning I was dreaming that I was trying to clean ants out of our house (those hardworking persistent non-native San Francisco ants that we haven’t had in our house in years, but I still fear their return) and I woke up and went to look for a sponge to use to wipe/clean them up.
This morning it was 4:10am when I woke up convinced that I was holding a mouse I had just found and I needed to find a box for it. I could feel the tiny scared animal’s heart beating in my fingers and I could see the nest of paper bits it had made in a corner of the room. I put my glasses on and realized there was no mouse. I’d seen a tiny mouse on our patio a few days ago. Now it’s in my dream house.
Since it was just after 4am and we try to all get up around 7am on weekday mornings I decided to stay awake and get things done. I started to make lunch for Lucy’s school lunchbox but I was pacing around and being too noisy. I decided to sit. in. one. place. and look over our 2008 Christmas card address spreadsheet and make updates for 2009. I was anticipating updating addresses of friends who have moved and adding addresses for some new friends.
Then I saw a line in the spreadsheet with my grandma’s name and address. I was casually organizing the list and thought, “she’s not around anymore, so remove the row,” and then I just fell apart dripping big huge tears all over the cat and the laptop keyboard.
Since she died in March I have grieved her loss the most when I think of calling her or sending her a letter or visiting her or telling her about something. When Lucy’s official Kindergarten portrait was delivered, I wanted to send one to my grandma because I knew she would love it. When Lucy announced that she wants to be a “bug scientist” when she grows up, I wanted to tell my grandma because she loved to encourage women to be scientists. When I have an interesting project at work I like to write to my grandma about it because I know she likes to hear about it.
She was my “look at this!” go-to person who would almost always respond with love and support and attention. I always wanted to show her things or share things with her and I always wanted to impress her.
I have a file drawer full of photos from her collection and I’ve been scanning them and hope to create and print a book of her photos for my siblings and parents. One of my favorites was probably taken while she was at Wesleyan in the late 1920′s or early 1930′s – such dashing women: