346/365 Happiness is… Being together for Christmas

A few nights ago I dreamt I was at my brother’s house. He was at the kitchen island, preparing ingredients for a huge meal. I was happy to be there, helping him cook because it had been a long time since we cooked together, especially Christmas dinner. We began to clear a place on the counter of the island and I turned around and saw that the kitchen and family room were full of people.

My cousin Pam was standing at the counter next to her mother and father. I noticed faces of people I’d not seen in years all through the house. Aunt Nancy and her family were in the family room near the fireplace. Beth, Ruth and Judy were behind Auntie June, their mother, who held a plate of blonde brownies in her hand.

My mom was there, my dad too. I felt that everyone I loved, from mom’s side of the family was in Kevin’s house getting ready to celebrate Christmas together; even though I didn’t “see” all of them, I knew they were there.

I was on my way around the room to hug everyone when I woke up, smiling.

This dream reminded me of a few things and I thought about each as I cleared the sleep from my brain:

  1. A short story I heard on NPR many years ago, but never found the name, about a woman who learned she could go to a picnic to which everyone she’d ever known and loved was also going, even those who’d died.
  2. Pastor Keith’s mention of the feast that awaits us in Heaven at my father’s funeral.
  3. My childhood picture of Heaven which was a table in a cafe where those I’d loved who’d died sat and drank and ate and talked.
  4. A drawing my mother made in the 1960s. It was based on a photograph of her family — she set everyone in the same place, but aged them twenty years or so.

Dreams of one loved one who’s passed on are very special. Dreams of the entire clan, passed on or not, in one room are phenomenal. Let’s make this come true, those of us who are still here. Maybe not Kevin’s kitchen (although it is a lovely kitchen) but let’s get together sometime.