That a Lamp Should be Lit…

December 16, 2006 at 10:16 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

I have a great aunt who I’ve just found out is in the hospital. She’s scheduled for some surgery Monday. I don’t know how serious the surgery will be at this point. I don’t know who of my family will be able to go to her, if need be.

She’s the youngest daughter of my formidable great grandmother.

Both of them read and sang this to me. My great grandmother of course, when I was small, and my great aunt more recently:

But it means a bit more than that.

And, this is going to sound like the most crazy stuff, but, the Lamplighter poem, more than anything else I did set my feet on the path to march the Hodgkins straight into remission beginning the night I was diagnosed, back in 1991.

See I had this dream. It was the most *vivid* and normal seeming experience I’ve ever had.

I was alone in the hospital after my cancer diagnosis, family had left, and had difficulty sleeping of course because you never can in the hospital.

I felt abandoned, that no one stayed that first night. The most alone I’ve ever been.

But I dreamt I was in the house first inhabited by my grandparents who both died before I knew them. The house passed to my great grandmother so she could raise my father, my uncle, and their young sister my aunt.

It looked just like it had when I was a child, but I was an adult, 30 years old, my age at the time of the dream.

I had been sleeping in one of the twin beds leftover from when they were my father and uncle’s beds as children. I had been sleeping as this adult, and my great grandmother woke me up, dressed in her normal clothes, in her home without any spooky dreamlike difference at all.
She sang the Lamplighter Poem to me again, softly, and comfort showed up. And then she said: “It’s going to be all right.” And, the subtext of that sentence was was not a simple “you’ll get better,” but more complicated: that whatever followed with my cancer, however it turned, that it would be as it was supposed to be.

And I woke back up in the hospital the next morning completely foccussed on what I had to do next, what needed to be done. Not afraid, that morning anyway. Not anxious. Settled and set up to do battle.

It wouldn’t be half as weird as it is if my great grandmother hadn’t passed away eleven and a half years before I had that dream.

I hope she’s near her daughter tonight, singing the Lamplighter Poem.

This is written by Robert Louis Stevenson, no copyright infringment intended or implied.

The Lamplighter

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky.
It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street

Now Tom would be a driver
and Maria go to sea,
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;

But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I’m to do,
O Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,

And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. bridgett said,

    I don’t find that odd at all. My grandmother came from the beyond to fish with my cousin when the cousin was in a coma for six and half months with incredible traumatic brain injuries. She says that having Grandma with her doing something relaxing and happy, periodically walking her down the riverbank, was instrumental in guiding her back to consciousness. Right before she woke up, she says that Grandma told her that she should just go on up to the road and wait for the next car to take her back home — Grandma was going to stay down on the bank for a spell.

  2. bridgett said,

    I don’t find that odd at all. My grandmother came from the beyond to fish with my cousin when the cousin was in a coma for six and half months with incredible traumatic brain injuries. She says that having Grandma with her doing something relaxing and happy, periodically walking her down the riverbank, was instrumental in guiding her back to consciousness. Right before she woke up, she says that Grandma told her that she should just go on up to the road and wait for the next car to take her back home — Grandma was going to stay down on the bank for a spell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: