It was just a dream, but it frightened me, frightened me to my inner core.
My mother had past away; the strong, intelligent, beautiful and forever caring woman that held the family together. She was a mother of seven; the eldest of her children at the age of twenty-nine and the youngest only of seven years. The fu jeiv laix was most fond of my kind mother. At times of loneliness or worry, he would call my mother's cellphone and she would pick up and asked him what was wrong. "Oh du aa, maih tzu zou oh, maa zwone byoa aa low." And she would come home, give her son a big hug and rest him assured that he was safe and not alone.
But in the dream, in the nightmare, the elder children who understood what death meant and the permanent mark that would forever stain their lives, couldn't bare to explain to the fu jeiv laix where his mother had gone. So he would do as he normally did whenever he felt alone- he called his mom.
It ringed and ringed and ringed, he continued to stay on the line. He was sure he punched in the right number, for it was the very first phone number he ever learned. Even before his home phone, even before the emergency phone with only three numbers, he remembered his maa's cellphone number. We stood around him, keeping our tears and internal grief from seeping out so that he wouldn't have the slightest hint or clue about reality.
He clicked the phone off, turned to us with a strained smile and quietly said, "Maa said she's gonna come home soon and not to worry."
The elder children looked at one another and didn't know whether he was lying or if someone did pick up the phone. It was an eerie feeling for a child of seven to tell you that the person who has presumably past away, replied to him, spoke to him, and made a promise to come home.
And so he waited, in the living room in front of the door. Hours past and the elder children sat around him to keep him company. Suddenly, he ran up to the door even though none of them had heard a door bell ring. He turned around and was embraced by a pair of strong but comforting arms.
The rest of us stood shocked- it was our mother. We didn't know if she was a ghost, if she really did pass on, or if this was an illusion set up with cruel intentions.
She patted her fu jeiv laix and told him she was home, and he needn't worry. Her fu jeiv laix asked her where she's been, and she simply replied that she was just gone, but she's come home to spend one last time with her fu jeiv laix. She will take him to the park to push him on the swing set and watch him play on the school's playground, to the store to buy clothes for a growing child she won't be able to see grow, to the restaurant to eat his favorite meal that she won't be able to cook for him, to buy him the toy that he's always wanted because she's always hoped to give him everything. To show him how much she loved her fu jeiv laix and to apologize for the time she didn't spend with him.
Our mother, our strong, beloved forever in our hearts, dreams, soul and blood, our maa.