Last Night’s Dream Wasn’t Mine


Get this: I was blow drying my hair this morning, after a lovely night’s rest and unremarkable dreams. Usually my dreams are nightmares. Big, crazy, intense, absurd, menacing and even metaphorical. In fact, the night before last, I dreamt that my father, who died of Alzheimer’s in 2012, was alive but had turned into a drowning tortoise. (Kind of an accurate description of AD actually.) My sister Kathy and I saved him. You get the picture.

Anyway, this morning, my son David walks into the bathroom and hands me my ringing iPhone. It says the caller is Nancy Scott Bercaw, who was my grandmother, dead since 2001. I shuddered a bit, wondering if I was dreaming. How could my grandmother be calling me? How did her name even get in my phone?

nana house
The Former Bercaw Farm


It’s my cousin Nancy Dunlap Bercaw. In some sort of Freudian slip, I must have listed her in my contacts with my grandmother’s middle name. Weird.
Cousin Nan proceeds to tell me that she had a dream about us swimming in the Rivanna River where a tree had fallen. Apparently I was quite upset by the downed tree, and Nancy was trying to shield my eyes from the sight. Then she was comforting me and telling me that we could still swim. And we did.

Cousin Nan says she needed to call me to tell me about this dream. Be it known that Cousin Nancy NEVER calls me. Naughty thing that she is. I tell her that Grandmother’s name had come on the phone and that I was quite taken aback.

The Rivanna River

Nan then suggests that when David and I visit her next Saturday — we are flying down to DC as part of a kooky road trip — that she pick us up from National Airport and drive right to Palmyra to swim in the Rivanna river at Grandmother’s old farm.

I agreed with great joy.

And am still beaming.

One week from tomorrow I, Nancy Stearns Bercaw, will be in the Nancy Scott Bercaw part of the Rivanna with my cousin Nancy Dunlap Bercaw. How great is that?

What a wonderful wonderful way to start the day. A call from the past about a memory for the future.