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Do you ever ponder whether dreams come to you randomly or if God sends them for a reason? And if so, what are the reasons?

A few nights ago I had another dream about my grandma. This time it wasn’t jarring or haunting in the way that makes you bolt upright in bed, head trapped in a fog between reality and confusion.

No, this time it was peaceful. This time, it was sweet.

I remember being seated next to her on the beige sofa that once divided her small, assisted living apartment in half; afghan stretched meticulously across the back and tucked into the creases. Reaching out, I took her hand in my own, noting the way that years leave their mark on skin and veins.

I turned it over and over, studying the birthstone ring she wore to mark the lives of her four children. I studied the age spots and freckles I knew well; all markers in the march through decades.

I pressed into the soft spots I remember touching when I was young while sitting beside her in church; I marveled at the smooth, papery velum that wrapped around her bones and held her life inside.

We sat together: her and I, suspended in this dream that would help me remember and not forget.

We sat in the stillness with sheer drapes drawn and silky light filtering in, dust dancing on slanted rays.

And I felt, for a moment, as though I hadn’t lost her.

As though the hands I’ve warmed time and again would still reach out for me.

As though she were still with me.

And I woke up with God tenderly whispering that, perhaps, in many ways, she still is.