“I went out with a man the other night,” is what I thought I heard. I’ll admit I was distracted, not paying full attention, not expecting to hear such words. Not having my Spanish down is a major problem. It causes confusion, misunderstandings (to say the least), frustration and sometimes I feel like I could be missing out on important information. I almost did on Monday night when I spoke to Mama during our nightly conversation.

When I heard that while watching Conan O’Brien on television it immediately shook me out of the distant space I was in. SHE WHAT?! SHE COULDN’T! SHE WOULD NEVER! Thoughts flooded my mind, panic filled my heart. She knew I heard wrong because she knew my reaction to what she actually said would have been much different. She was right.

“You didn’t understand what I said, did you?” “No, dime otra ve.”

The second time she repeated it, I didn’t miss a single word. Although it seemed like I could be getting it wrong because it seemed so unreal. It was magical.

“Papa visited me the other night. I woke up and he was in my bed and I was startled and I asked him, “Ramoncito, what are you doing?” He answered, “Lying here with you.” I think that she then said to him that she had to go get something from the kitchen. He told her, “You stay here, I’ll get it.” She must have fallen asleep and when she woke up she said, “It’s been a while now, where did he go? What is he doing?” And then she remembered and said, “Oh yeah, he’s dead.”

Now, I don’t know what that dream meant, if it even was a dream. I really believe it was Papa finally paying a  visit to Mama to let her know that he’s all right. She said it was the first time she dreamed of him since his death. I asked how she felt after she realized he was gone again and she said she was OK, she wasn’t scared or anything.

My heart broke for her. I started crying but didn’t want her to realize that I was. I’m not sure if she did, before she told me the story we were saying our goodbyes and so as soon as she finished, she said goodnight. I don’t know if it was because we already were parting or because revealing that news to me made her feel sad. I felt sad for her, but so happy that Papa had done that for her as well. I knew she appreciated it too.

Moments like those I wish I saw her more often, then I would’ve been able to see her face and known exactly how she felt. I would have been able to hold her hand, give her a big hug, keep her company. When I see her in person next, I think I’ll bring up the topic again. I don’t want to make her relive it and feel sad again, but I would like to know more about it and really see for myself how it affected her. That way, I know she’s OK even though I know she’ll be all right no matter what. She’s the strongest person I know. I hope she never feels alone. I’m happy that since I can’t be there all the time to make sure she’s OK that Papa is at the job, looking down on her. Thanks, Papa.