The Old Hotel and the Storm, Feb. 28, 2014

I’ve dreamed many times about terrible storms, tornadoes and old houses or hotels. Often they are separate, but this dream had several of these elements. I met an interesting character in this dream as well, and while I don’t trust spirits I run into in the dream-world, this one seemed benign, or dare I say, almost angelic.

I was with my husband in this dream, and we were driving through the southern Arizona desert. We came to a small town that looked mostly abandoned, save for a ratty old hotel and what appeared to be a general store / gas station. We got out and went into the little store and found that one side of it had a diner that was still open and it was crowded with people. The interesting thing was that these were all people that I know or knew in my real life. My husband went off to talk to some people we knew to be friends and I went to find a place to sit down. I found a table where my kids and my mother were sitting. I slid into the seat beside my mother.

[Side note – my mother and I have always had a very contentious relationship over the years. While we do  love each other, we’ve never had the kind of huggy /touchy-feely Mom and Daughter relationship that most other women have. My mom is not a “baking cookies” type of mother and I was the family “rebel.” For years we didn’t get along at all, and barely spoke to each other. Only in the last few years have we tried to reestablish a relationship to the point where we can talk to each other without the conversation devolving into a full-blown argument. Much of that ceased after I had this dream. With that said, back to the description…]

I noticed that a woman in her early thirties, trim, with blond curly hair and bright blue eyes was seated on the other side of the table from Mom and me. She wore a dowdy-looking flour sack dress that made her look like she stepped right out of the Great Depression. Her hairstyle was very 1930s. I also noticed for some reason that she didn’t have any shoes on. I started talking to the woman while Mom and everyone else at the table ate their dinner.

The woman and I were discussing the people in the room, mostly friends and acquaintances, as well as a few family members that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. That’s when she looked me in the eye and said, “Some of your friends are true and some are not. It’s easy to tell the difference because those who will come to help you in the night as well as the day are the ones who are true.”

I considered this for a moment and agreed that she was right. I became semi-lucid at this point and plied her with questions about the family. She didn’t seem to be a regular dream-character, but someone who was very real, had intellect of her own and I couldn’t anticipate what she was going to say.

The dream took on a very high-definition quality. I found myself studying the woman’s face, trying to figure out who she was and if I knew her. It seemed as if I should have known her very well. Her features were plain, but there was a beautiful, ethereal quality to her expression. Someone set a plate down in front of her and she picked up her fork, set a napkin in her lap and began to eat.

“You and I look a lot alike, don’t you think?” She said, after a moment of chewing. I thought there was some similarity, but couldn’t put a finger on exactly what it was.

“Do I know you?”

She smiled and nodded and said nothing for a few seconds. I waited as she finished the last morsel on her plate and then wiped her mouth on the napkin. “You need to be nice to your mother,” she said. “She won’t be around much longer.” I looked over at Mom, who kept eating and talking to my kids, none of them seeming to notice that I was even there. When I looked back, the woman had gotten up and walked away from the table. I tried to follow her, but she disappeared. I knew then that I knew her, she was related to me, or maybe an angel posing as one of my long-dead relatives.

I wandered through the store, which connected somehow to this old hotel next door. I saw that they didn’t have regular lamps and light bulbs. Instead, long strings of white Christmas lights had been strung up everywhere. The place was dim, and I noticed a lot of filmy, lace curtains were hung up in the doorways and in the large windows that overlooked an empty park outside. I noticed that the skies were a thick, dusty gray and a storm was brewing. Mom suddenly appeared beside me and we were both looking out through the window. I wanted to say something to her, but couldn’t think of anything.

Mom walked over to a wall full of shelves, all filled from end to end with old-timey photos in tin frames. Christmas lights were strung across the inside of each shelf so that the pictures were lit up. Mom began to comment on the people in the photos, saying that this one was a cousin, another was of an uncle or an aunt, this one over there was on her side of the family, another from my dad’s side and so on. I listened as she went on about each photo, but then noticed that there was thunder and lightning going on outside. Each boom shook the old building. I looked out through the windows again and saw high winds blowing up huge, rolling plumes of dust towards us. And as the cloud approached the hotel, I began to wake up.

Once I was fully awake, I pondered who the woman might have been in the dream. She seemed to be my grandmother, my dad’s mother, who had died from cancer back in the late 1930s. I’ve only seen a couple of pictures of her, but the woman in the dream reminded me of her a great deal. It was after I figured that she was either my grandmother or an angel who took on her persona that I began to work on my relationship with my mom for real.

It is important to put to rest old grudges and burdens, and at least try to patch things up with a parent or a sibling. As a Christian, I truly believe that it’s these things that stand as obstacles between us and the Lord. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is pride. I had to set aside a lot of old resentments, learn to forgive people who didn’t ask to be forgiven and simply let the past go. That’s when I discovered that forgiveness is the best way to stop someone from living rent-free in my head. It was only then that I began to find my depression and self-hatred slip away.

I look at myself these days with the Lord’s mirror, not with my own and not with that of other people. What people think of me doesn’t matter. What the lord God in Jesus Christ thinks of me does matter. I know my mom loves me in her own way, and I love her regardless of her still bringing up the past. No, we’re never going to be any storybook mom/daughter combo, but we get along now, for the most part.

– Jillian


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