This story takes place in the autumn of 1995 in Columbus, Ohio. My grandmother's sister-in-law, Aunt Margie (also my grandmother's name, coincidentally), had been very sick for some time. She was suffering from a brain tumor that was killing her. I had known she was sick for months and my mother often asked me to visit her in the nursing home to which she had been committed the previous year. I watched her condition worsen for months. She went from struggling with her memory to improperly employing simple diction. "That's Lazarus (department store)," she'd exclaim as we drove past, "they have, um, hamburgers there, very good..." And, of course, I knew this was incorrect and evidence of her declining health. Eventually, she was totally bed-ridden and was often totally incomprehensible, sometimes babbling and eyes rolling about the room. It was clear she was near death.
My parents are divorced, but they lived near to each other and had joint-custody over my sister and I so that we rotated between houses together, living with each parent for two weeks at a time. One Friday night, I was sleeping at my father's house on the north side of town. In the morning, we transferred down to my mother's house. Upon walking in the front door that morning, I related to my mother a very short, vivid dream I had experienced the night before...
In the dream, I was sitting on the driver's side of a bench seat in an old, orange Buick. Aunt Margie was sitting next to me on the passenger's side. My right hand was resting on the middle portion of the bench between us. Her hand was clasped in mine, but it was wet, clammy and cold. I turned to look at her as she turned her head to look at me. She smiled faintly. That was the end of the dream. I awoke rattled because, though I'm an active dreamer, this one was particularly stark and unsettling because of its simplicity and the almost tactile aspect of her cold, wet hand on mine. It gave me the impression of having touched cold jelly and I can sense it to this day.
So after telling my mother about this dream, she said to me, "Oh, David, that is too weird because Aunt Margie died last night..." This in and of itself was not surprising as she had been sick for a long time and we all knew her time was limited. I chalked the dream up to conscious knowledge of the situation and this was just a way that my subconscious was dealing with it. It was coincidence, I thought, that this dream came to me that Friday night.
That is, until Sunday. On Sunday, the elders in the family convened to read her last will and testament. In it, she divided-up her belongs to various members of the family. To me, she left her car. My grandparents knew that she did indeed own a car, but had not driven it in years because she had become portly and was unable to drive herself around easily. For Thanksgiving, for example, I often drove up to her place to pick her up and deliver her to wherever we were having dinner that day. Most people had not seen her drive in years and I, if I ever had, had not seen the car since I was very, very, very young.
My mother came home and told me that Aunt Margie had left me her car in her will. Both my mother and I knew this was pretty uncanny based on the dream, but still didn't think too much of it until we entered her garage that afternoon. As the garage door lifted, I froze in my tracks as, there, almost in mothballs, was an old, dusty, orange Buick from the late '70s or early '80s. I instantly recognized it as the one from my dream. I said to Mom, "That's the exact car from my dream Friday night..." Mom said, "I was afraid you'd say that. Do you want to drive it home, or should I?" I was reticent to do so because nothing like this had ever happened to me before.
Finally, I saw no harm in it and tried the engine. I put the key in the ignition and turned it. Somehow, the car still worked. There was a little gas in it and I drove it home mulling over the circumstances in my head. When I pulled-up in front of our house, I sat in the car and thought about Aunt Margie. She wasn't even technically a blood relative of mine because she married my grandmother's brother. For some reason, before I got out, I put my left hand down under the driver's seat. There, I extracted a handful of Aunt Margie's hair that must have fallen out due to the chemotherapy she was undergoing. This chilled me and exited the vehicle with haste.
We had trouble starting the car after that and eventually sold it. I related the story to my grandmother who is known for possessing a "sixth sense" of sorts. She was convinced that I, too, had a similar gift. After that, my grandmother and I agreed that when she passed, she'd have to stop by and let me know in my dreams. My grandmother, with whom I was VERY close as we were both artists and always had a distinct connection, died unexpectedly about nine years later. Unfortunately, I did not see her in my sleep when she passed, though I dream about her often to this day. I sometimes awake crying, but always hope to dream about her. I miss her terribly and hope I can embrace her again in slumber.