Excerpt from “Love Never Ends” (Novel: The Former Things Have Passed Away)

Right after Mama died, I’d dream about her almost every night. She’d appear either half-dead or half-alive, like a human ghoul or goblin. Never completely alive because she wasn’t supposed to be. Imposing on my dreams like the main attraction.

I woke up one morning with tears in my eyes. I missed her, not because she was dead, but because in my dream, she left me. She was living in Vallejo, with Auntie Pat and was even working some new job, as a nurse. That’s what really hurt – she was establishing roots somewhere else, taking care of other people. She was happy in her new life. How could she be happy without me?

Over time, she took on a supporting role – counselor, teacher, or friend – sometimes with her own face, sometimes not. Crowding out the haunting elements of my nightmares: useless leg that can’t reach the car brake; drowning in an endless tidal wave; suffocating cats in dresser drawers.

She appeared less and less in my dreams over time and I wondered why. Like a character actor or a piece of furniture, which you only miss when suddenly removed from its rightful spot.

Mama – not a voice, not a face, not even a shadow. White streaks of rain beating down on the ground outside. Pitch dark night. Man lurking near the curtained sliding glass door by my bed. Whipping motor of a weed-eater, boots crunching grass. Call out, “He’s coming to get us!” Mama – not a voice, not a face, not even a shadow – in another room, and the rain and the man and the chainsaw sound and the fear that grips my heart –

I wake up, and I remember. I remember that she is my mother and that she is dead. Mama is still there, reminding me that I am still alive.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanette VC Hall
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 04:52:29

    Tina, that was beautiful. What’s strange is that it’s exactly my same dream…I guess because she is my mother too. I miss her too.


  2. Anonymous
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 07:28:58

    beautifully expression of your feelings. i love the way you are writing. you’re so gifted, girl. am proud of you xoxo


  3. manuela warmsbach
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 07:29:42

    the last comment was from me, forgot to enter my name – stupid me!


  4. cannyuncanny
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 08:02:42

    Before you identified yourself, I knew it was you Manuela – thank you!


  5. Jack Storey
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 08:19:45

    Beautiful, Tina…


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