Last night I dreamt my mother was mother in 1942

I didn’t really feel anything. I was at her funeral, doing what I always do under stress: dealing with it. I was completing the arrangements, getting the tiny room together and waiting for everyone to show up. I looked back from the pulpit, next to a casket, and was transfixed by the rows of folding chairs. There were less than a dozen of them.

I walked outside the empty room, and signed some papers in the lobby. No one I knew was there yet. I just waited, and thought about how small the whole affair was. Most of the people she knew were already dead.

I woke up feeling fragile.

Together, my parents can drive a car fairly well. My mom is a bit uncoordinated and timid; my father is bold and well skilled— but he can’t hear, and has a short attention span. His mind wanders sometimes, and he doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on. Mom keeps him out of trouble. I don’t know what he’d do without her. They do everything together.

I should have been a mess in the dream. But I wasn’t. I was just thinking about what I had to do. Taking care of things, making sure things worked out right.

Sometimes I just can’t allow myself to hurt.