We were all sitting at my grandmother's dining room table. My big brother and two older sisters, my dad, his mom, my uncle and his children, and a few of my grandmother's closest friends all dressed a bit formally. It sounds cliche', but my grandmother was the Martha Stewart of her time. She had a turkey, perfectly roasted, plump and juicy with all the trimmings.
My sister, just eighteen months older, and I had been carefully placing big, round, black olives on each of our fingertips laughing loudly and waiting impatiently for everyone to make their way to the table.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mother enter the room. She had on her usual, white, fluffy robe, tied tightly at her tiny waist. Her hair looked different than when I'd seen her last. It wasn't brown and downy soft, laying close to her head. It was a bright, shiny blonde, as it always was when I was younger, except this time, it was reflecting a shining light around her smiling face.
Everything around me stopped. The holiday chatter, the TV in the background, the oven timer, the sound of my grandmother's old blender, all came to an abrupt halt.
"Mom, what are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here."
She stared back at me smiling.
I woke up at my great aunt's ranch as my grandmother entered the room.
"Happy Thanksgiving!" She said to me grinning.
As I told her my dream, she stared at me intently.
"What a gift. I've always wanted to have a dream like that....to see your mother one more time."
Then, her Martha Stewart like demeanor kicked into full gear.
"Get up now. Your aunt Margie and I made a big breakfast and we're heading out to ride the property."
They're all gone now. My mother, both grandmothers and Aunt Margie, but I'm thankful for the time I had with each of them and thankful for the memories, with my own family, that I'm making now.