51: Just a Dream Away

51: Just a Dream Away

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

Just a Dream Away

My grandmother is my angel on earth.

~Catherine Pulsifer

I was sitting on a wood bench in a garden filled with daisies, which were my grandmother’s favorite flower. The sun was shining and felt warm on my skin. The air had a faint smell of sandalwood and vanilla. It was the unmistakable aroma of my grandmother’s favorite perfume. She had passed away several years before, and I still missed her terribly.

All of a sudden I could hear her voice. It started off faint, like a whisper, and continued to grow louder and louder. “Wake up, you need to put him in his crib.” She just kept saying it over and over, getting more and more frantic. Was she here? Her presence seemed so real.

The sunny sky turned dark and lightning began to shoot all around me. All of a sudden, I felt two frail hands grab my shoulders and shake me violently. I heard my grandmother’s voice again: “Please wake up; you need to put him in his crib. There is not much time.”

I woke up in a cold sweat. There were tears streaming down my face. It took me a moment to collect myself and figure out where I was. The room was dark, except for the glow of the television. I could hear the rain hitting the roof. I had fallen asleep watching cartoons on the couch again. I looked over at the recliner and saw my one-year-old sleeping peacefully, curled up under his favorite blanket. The thunder boomed outside and I decided that the sounds of the storm must have been responsible for my nightmare. I crawled off of the couch and went to get a glass of water.

As I entered the kitchen the lights started to flicker. I heard another loud burst of thunder and my electricity turned off completely. All of a sudden, my grandmother’s words echoed through my mind. “You need to put him in his crib. There is not much time.”

I walked back into the living room and went over to the recliner. I scooped my little man up into my arms. He nuzzled his head into my chest as I cradled him closer. I walked slowly to his room, navigating through the dark hallway, trying hard not to wake him. He smelled like lavender baby lotion. His eyelids fluttered and he smiled as he slept. I laid him in the crib, covered him with a blanket, and kissed him on his forehead. I whispered, “I love you more than pigs love slop.” This was an old saying my grandfather had always told us. I stood there in the dark staring at him. I brushed my hand across his forehead and kissed him one more time.

As I was leaving his room, the entire house shook. There was a loud crash followed by the sound of wind and rushing water. My heart started pounding so fast I thought it was going to jump right out of my chest. I quickly looked back over to the crib. My son was still sleeping peacefully. I ran into the hallway. The wind was ripping through the house. I could feel the temperature dropping. When I reached the living room I saw a sight that brought me to my knees. A giant tree limb was sticking into the house though the bay window. It had landed right on the recliner that my son had been sleeping on moments before. There was broken glass everywhere. The wind and rain poured through the broken window. I ran over and tried to move the tree limb. I tried to push it back outside, but it was thick and heavy. I began shaking and crying hysterically. The reality of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks. If my son had still been lying on that recliner, his little body would have been crushed under the immense weight of the tree limb.

When the storm ended and the sun came back out, we inspected the tree. A bolt of lightning had hit it and severed the limb, which sent it flying through my bay window. The force and impact were enough to do severe damage to the house and ruin several pieces of furniture. All of that could be repaired or replaced. I felt immensely grateful that my son was sleeping soundly in his crib when the branch came crashing in. I believe that my grandmother came to me in my dream that night, to save her great-grandson’s life.

~Tiffany O’Connor

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