Monday, May 14, 2012
The day before Mother's Day
The food was scrumptious. That’s all I could think as I finished my meal. I glanced around, observed the few other customers eating in the cafeteria, which was a satellite off the main dining hall of the hospital. Everyone seemed to be pleased with his or her orders. I observed a woman in her fifties sitting at a table near by, talking to another woman who appeared to be her friend, about a trip she had taken to town. I didn’t stop to think why I was in that hospital other than to devour the famous fast food culinary staff was known to prepare.
The afternoon seemed pleasant until a customer, a man in his late forties, suddenly stood up and became agitated, yelling out loud. Then he produced a silver, shiny gun, holding it in his right hand, pointing at the ceiling, while cussing and restlessly moving in circles. Everyone seemed paralyzed in terror. No one said a word. My heart pounded as I feared for my life. After a brief moment, the man turned to face a window, and looked outside. A quick thought flashed in my mind.
I exited the cafeteria quickly and ran with all the strength my legs would allow me. I found the stairs and I headed down, running, holding the handrail. I was uncertain whether the man had seen me fleeing the cafeteria or not, or if he was following me. All I had in my mind was I needed to find a safe place. There was no one in the stairwell, going up, or down. I continued running downstairs, not knowing how much longer I would have to run before I would be out of danger. I realized I must have been on the very top floor of the hospital, even though the cafeteria was on the main floor. It must have been a 12-story building, I thought.
The stairs, the walls and the entire building were white. Finally, I arrived to a floor where I noticed a huge change in colors and decoration. I slowed down and scanned around. The walls on this level reflected burgundy and green hues. Plants and beautiful decorative accents were strategically staged all around the medical floor. A foaming spring adorned the center of the place, with water gently running from it and down a stream casting effervescent bubbles bursting and vanishing into the air. I heard soothing music. It resembled a spa.
There were many people around. Some old, some young and many small children. I wondered what medical unit this could possibly be. Then it was as though the answer came to my mind, in a natural way:
I am on the oncology floor.
I continued taking in the floor and the people. Everyone seemed calm and relaxed. I noticed that not all of them were cancer patients; there were visitors as well, but everyone seemed to blend in. Just like a large, happy family.
I saw comfortable leather sofas and chairs placed around the floor. I started to feel tired, and barely reached an empty chair before I collapsed into it. I sat comfortably, feeling serene and safe. I knew I was away from the danger now. I took a deep breath and felt thankful for being in this place.
I observed more children and women, they were chatting and carrying some wardrobe. I looked in front of me, and noticed a large curtain, and realized that behind it was a small stage. They were preparing for an artistic presentation.
I felt at peace. But then I knew it was time for me to go. I stood up and headed toward the exit door. I pushed it open and walked out of the building. I found myself walking down the street, realizing that I didn’t have my purse, my cell phone, or money with me. I walked the empty street, only cars passed by. I recognized the town—it was my hometown.
Then the image of my mother came to my mind.
I looked toward the oncoming traffic, waiting for a taxi to come by. That was the goodness of my hometown, there were hundreds of cabs transiting the avenues of the large city, 24 hours a day. It wouldn’t take that long to board a cab and head to my mother’s place. I was sure she would be happy to see me, even if I had to borrow money from her to pay for the cab.
How silly! I grinned.
Then I blinked, and opened my eyes, but unexpectedly, found myself staring at the ceiling in my bedroom.
It was merely a dream!
I sighed as I recalled the vivid images of my dream.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, I realized. Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven, Mom.