Dreams are a funny thing. You never really know what prompts them, why they contain the things they do, and what they actually mean in the grand scheme of things. You can make guesses, dream interpretation is a popular pastime, but in the end they’re a mystery, something that happens to everyone but nobody has really figured out.
But a dream can make you think about things you haven’t thought about in a while, and change the face of your day in ways you don’t expect.
In my case, I had a dream about my grandmother, the one on my mother’s side. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t thought very much about her in many years, but then I can’t say I really knew my grandmother very well. She was there for my childhood, but a series of strokes were damaging to her mind and she was mostly quiet and a bit confused for the time we knew each other. She also kept calling me by my brother’s name, which I didn’t like very much, but really that wasn’t her fault.
This dream, such as it was, didn’t have her giving out some profound wisdom she couldn’t have given me while she was alive. She was just there, a reminder that I had a grandmother, but it was a dream that made me think about her.
The strange thing is that I was around before she had declined enough to have to move into a nursing home, but I don’t really remember much about her. I remember the raisin magnets on her fridge, the giant entertainment unit in her living room, and the touch lamp that I found completely fascinating. I remember having to break into her house when she locked the keys inside, because I was the smallest and could fit inside the window.
In some ways, I wasn’t thinking about her, but instead myself. I’m the youngest among by brothers and sisters, by a wide margin, and time meant that I knew fewer members of my family than them. I didn’t know either of my grandfathers, one died long before I was born, the other soon after – so while I technically met him, I was just a baby so I don’t have any memory of it. My memories of my grandmother on my father’s side were strong - she was a formidable presence until her death at the age of 98 - but on my mom’s side, I don’t know who she actually was in life, just what she was later on.
In some ways, it’s a shame that little kids don’t really know what they’re going to wish they had more time to appreciate when they’re adults. The adult me wishes I would have those missing memories from when I was a little kid, that I would have something to recall when I think of my grandmother. The little kid me, meanwhile, just thought those raisin magnets were the greatest.
Apparently, somewhere in my mind, it decided I needed to remember my grandmother. And honestly, I appreciate that. I don’t know the science behind dreams, but clearly a part of my mind thought I needed to remember my grandmother, and I’m grateful for it.