grandma’s visit

Rudy and I were sitting together on the couch this morning, me enjoying a cup of coffee, him sweating from the overbearing heat filtering through the windows, when he somberly stated, “My grandma Victoria came to me in a dream last night.” I turned my body toward him, encouraging Rudy to continue, to tell me about his favorite Abuelita, who, sadly, passed away when he was 15 years old.

“She was wearing a light beige skirt. It went to about here,” he made a slicing motion across the middle of his calf with the side of his right hand. “And she was wearing a tan colored long sleeved blouse, with fancy ruffles across the front. Which is odd, weird, I don’t know, just not her style. She always wore dresses. You know, the spring kind, with flowers? Bright colors?”

In the dream, Rudy had been sitting on the screened-in front porch of the house where he was living as a teen. His back was to the front door when it suddenly opened, revealing Victoria. He turned to see his grandma, and smiled.

“The top was tucked into the skirt,” he continued, “and she asked me, ‘How do I look?’ I said, ‘You look beautiful, Grandma!’ and then I cried.”

While Rudy was relaying the dream, and the intense love he has always felt for his long gone maternal grandmother, tears flooded his red rimmed eyes, just as it must have happened in his dream.

“As she held my face in her hands Grandma said, ‘It’s time for me to go. I need to go home.’ But this is your house, I told her, you live here too, with us. ‘I know’, she said, quietly, ‘but I need to go home. I have postponed it twice now, Hijo, but I need to go.’ I told her I understood, but I didn’t really. And then I woke up.”

I looked at Rudy, waiting for more.

“I don’t know what she meant about postponing going home twice. I can’t make sense of it.  Or why she was wearing beige. I think it might be because we were just talking about colors the other day, and remember when Liz mentioned something about the beige clothing a character was wearing? About how psychologically colors represent some kind of emotion? So maybe that’s where the outfit comes from. A symbol that she’s been an essential and dependable force in my life? But it’s weird to see her like that because, like I said, she always wore dresses. Very colorful ones. And she was never without an apron at home. I don’t have any idea what the dream meant, and probably never will. My grandma died so long ago, but I do like that she visited me.”

Rudy looked at me. I smiled.

“Anyway, I felt happy seeing her, and my grandma seemed happy and content. When she held my face the way she used to, in a way that I knew how much she loved me, I felt her here, with me.”

His eyes brimmed with tears as he squeezed my hand. I squeezed back.

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