Lately, my dreams have been filled with images of my lola. I love to think it’s really her visiting me in my sleep because I’m sentimental like that, even though at the back of my mind I know it’s probably because of me thinking of her – clinging to my memories of her – in my subconscious. It’s been months since I started dreaming of her. It’s also been months since she’s passed away. I don’t think I’ll ever stop dreaming of her.
I had plenty in the past few months, but last night is probably my favorite. Unlike the ones I had before, the lola in this one is the lola I grew up to and love to remember: healthy, happy, and smiling. Not that she wasn’t happy in my other dreams, but she was already thin, frayed, and looking like her sick self in those. This time, she looked like her ‘normal’; she looked like how she was when I was 13.
In my dream, lola was shouting at the gate; her loud, booming voice letting us know she was already home. I came rushing to her, just like the old times when she would come home from the supermarket and I would help her carry the groceries.
But in this setting, my lola just got discharged from the hospital. Nonetheless, she looked healthy and good, like she hadn’t been sick at all. We instantly served her food she loved. Everyone was gathered around the dining table, laughing and eating, happy to finally have her back home. She was smiling when she pinched my arm and told me, “Pumayat ka yata.” I remember smiling back and wanting to tell her “Tumaba ka, lola.”
Yet even then, I remember thinking about what would happen next. I remember worrying that she’d be gone soon, that I should spend time with her more, that this is all too good to be true.
And after that, I woke up from my dream and soon bursted into tears.
No matter how my dreams about my lola went, I always woke up crying.
It is not so much of a bad dream as it is of wanting to never wake up from that reality. At the end of the day, I’d always choose the reality where my lola is alive and with me, laughing and smiling.
My mother told she’s also been dreaming about my lola too. But her never dreams were always the same: my lola holding my hand, walking with me to somewhere she doesn’t know. Inaakay pa rin ako. Mom said it’s probably lola’s way of worrying about me, even in the afterlife.
I like to think it’s her picking me up from this reality and finally bringing me with her.