Today is a sad anniversary. It was one year ago today that Ibis' mother passed away. While it's barely noon, all day I've felt like she's been trying to tell me something.
I'm not an overly superstitious person. I avoid walking under ladders and throw salt over my left shoulder if it spills. And knock on a lot of wood. But these are harmless superstitions, or so I tell myself anyway. I'm not a new-agey person and don't put much faith in alternate universes and all that.
However, I do listen when several things seem to point in one direction. My asthma has been acting up for the past month or so, and while it's been getting better, I occasionally have a hard time catching my breath while falling asleep.
Last night I was having a dream about my high school - a fairly common setting when I'm asleep and most likely prompted by the email earlier this week - when it transformed into Ibis smothering me. Not pillow-over-the-face smothering, just an arm accidentally draped across my throat with too much pressure.
In my dream I was gasping for air, trying to scream as I clawed at his arm. I awoke to much the same thing. His arm wasn't over me, but I was definitely struggling for air and making a lot of noise. Ibis rarely wakes up when I have a bad dream - unless I wake him up he'd never know - but this made him sit upright to see what was wrong.
That's when I looked at the clock. It was 5am, the exact same time, one year ago, that Ibis called to tell me his mother died. (He was in Mexico and I was in Chicago). Ultimately her lungs failed her, and without getting into too much detail, she couldn't breathe. Much like I was experiencing just then.
I commented "that's freaky" but refused to tell Ibis my revelation. He needed more sleep and I knew that would keep him awake, so I told him several hours later over coffee.
About an hour ago I was straightening up the living room and when I went to put away a DVD, a picture jumped from the shelf. I bumped it, but I've done that a hundred times without knocking anything over. This frame fell off the shelf, the glass shattering.
It was the one photo of his mother we have framed.
Like I said before, I don't buy into a lot of what my dad would call hocus-pocus stuff, but this was too weird to ignore. I'm not sure what she might be trying to tell me, but I'm listening.