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Expanding the Meaning of Love

by Omar Zair

My mother died more than twenty years ago. There was a very short period of time between the diagnosis of her sickness and her death. From the first moment, I knew it was fatal, and I remember today how painful that was. I found myself in an irreversible process, one in which I had never been before. I was working and studying far from home, and full of dreams and hopes about improving the economic level of my family.

Now years later, a grown man with a successful business, I recently had a dream about my mother. In the dream my sister and three brothers were all children again, and we were happy to be with my mother. Although we were children, my mother, in the dream, appeared as in her fifties, which was the age she died. I don't remember what we, the kids, were wearing. But I had a clear vision of my mother's dress. She was all white and radiant. This radiance captivated us. We asked her to stay with us. We wanted to be close to her, to embrace her. But she answered that it was impossible, that she was not of this world. She turned away from us and began to run; at the same time she began to elevate into the air until she disappeared in a cloud. There was silence all around. We all started crying and tried to reach up to her. I woke to a resounding silence in the room.

Even as a grown man, I had this dream of childhood hopes and fears, of the love and protection a child feels from his mother. It shows me that I haven't yet erased from my consciousness nor from my heart the remembrances of our life together, those lovely, happy moments full of hopes and plans for the future. The relationship between a mother and son or daughter is unique. Mothers so often say they love all their children, yet each relationship is still different, because each person is individual. It seems to me that this relationship is so deeply rooted that is remains beyond physical separation.

Can it be that I hope also, on some level, to be with my mother in the next world? It may be a hope, but, as was so clear in the dream, it is not yet possible because my time hasn't arrived yet. I am not ready. I need to grow, to learn, to expand. This dream reminded me that there is another level of work that I cannot forget: I need to work on myself, not only for material success. Above all, I nead to work on the realm of my relationships with other human beings, the foundation of which I received from my mother.

So I take this little reminder, this message from my mother, and I renew my inner work. I hope that when my work is done and my time has come, my mother will come again. Until then, her memory accompanies me and gives me strength.