I wouldn’t call them ‘nightmares’ exactly. More like… ‘Disturbing Dreams’. I get them all the time. One would think that even if your daily life is filled with stress, anxiety and closely related tormentors... at least when you finally fall asleep at night, you could relax and enjoy a nice dream. Nothing fancy… all I’m asking for is a dream where I’m a recluse living on a hill overlooking a valley. A babbling brook would be a nice touch… I’m not greedy. But noooooooo.
Let me tell you about last night’s dream, so you can understand the full extent of my ‘disturbance’. I dreamt I was arguing with my three grown children (where do you suppose that came from?) I told them I was tired of cleaning up the messes they made in their lives and I wasn’t going to do it anymore (You go, girl!) Then I informed them that I had let my life insurance policy drop, and now when I died, they would have to find a way to bury me on their own. Without a cent from me.
At first they were skeptical. They knew that that policy was the one where the rates never go up and I didn’t need a medical examination as long as I was under age 80. They know me, and couldn’t believe I’d just let it lapse. Once they realized I was serious, they shrugged it off, like everything else. In the dream, the day came when I passed away. I got to watch the kids scramble, trying to figure out what the heck to do with my body. They didn’t have an extra $50 between the three of them.
Lisa suggested a back yard burial. “She loved this house, and she’d be happy to be able to stay here." Never mind the fact that if I couldn’t afford the mortgage payments, how the heck could they? She might not mind having me out there, but the new owners might.
Tina thought they should get an estimate from a taxidermist, and sit me at my computer for the rest of eternity. “That’s where she’d want to be,” she added soulfully. “And maybe the stuffing will smooth out all of her wrinkles. You know she had been wanting a face lift for a long time.”
Joe said that he figured they could have a big beef and beer to raise the money. “We could have some of her old Stand Up Comic friends do a show! Roast her! She’d love it! We could invite all of the nurses at her hospital. I bet we’d raise more than enough to bury her. I can pour the concrete for her tombstone myself!”
Shockingly, the kids sat around talking about the possibilities for so long, the morgue finally called to say that if my body wasn’t out of there by the next day, they were going to have to start charging a storage fee. The kids were frantic. Once again, their procrastination and inability to compromise put them in a precarious position. The satisfaction that I received watching them squirm was short lived however.
I watched in horror as they decided to take me home, burn me to a crisp in a large industrial strength can, and then mix my ashes with hot wax to make candles. They added in a bit of Citronella so they could burn me ALL summer long and keep the mosquitoes away at the same time. It was little comfort knowing that their plan was decisive, creative, and practical.
I awoke feeling guilty that I didn’t appreciate the fact that all of my hard work in raising them had finally resulted in them solving a problem on their own... with no help from me.
What kind of mother am I? A better question might be… what kind of person dreams a dream like that? Have I lost my mind? What would a psychiatrist say?
I did learn one thing though. I’m NEVER gonna let that life insurance policy lapse!