MY NIGHT VISITOR.
This morning, sometime after 3 am, I had a visitor. For a second or two, I wondered why a stranger was standing beside my bed--in the dark-- but before I could ask, she assured me everything was okay; I had nothing to fear.
She sat on the side of the bed and reached-out to touch my cats, calling each by name, before introducing herself as my Great Grandmother---Anna America Miller. I immediately recognized her name because, growing up, she’d been my idol. Many times during Pretend-Playtime, I assumed the name “Anna America Miller” because I liked its theatrical sound.
Until now, we had never met. Through the years, my Father would find me looking at her portrait and share a memory of her. He explained that Anna America was his father’s Mother and she was his favorite relative. He shared that Anna America’s parents emigrated from Germany to America when they were quite young. They never lost their excitement about living in “The Promised Land.”
When Anna America was born, her parents named her in honor of their new country. And, for most of her life, she was called America. I only knew her from the large portrait that hung in my parents’ bedroom. As with most portraits from the eighteen hundreds, the subject never smiled yet….America’s eyes hinted of a kindness that didn’t need a smile. She displayed elegance in the way she dressed and wore her hair and, like my father, she had class.
My visitor only stayed a little while. I can’t remember everything we talked about but I do know, at one point, my Great Grandmother stood and smoothed her skirt before leaning over and patting my hair. It was difficult to see her face because the light was coming from behind her but I sensed her gentleness. She emphasized that she’d come to reassure me “not to worry.” Although her beautiful portrait in the classic frame was denied “a home” with me, it didn’t matter; she--America Miller-- was with me.
When I threw back the covers to get out of bed this morning, Anna America Miller was on my mind. I’ve had endless dreams and unsettling nightmares during my many years of sleeping but… I’ve also experienced more than a few visitors. Without fail, each visitor comes with a message and, when our visit ends, I’m always more…at peace.
Many will read my thoughts and laugh, or call me crazy, or think of me as delusional. I don’t care. I know there have been times when I've experienced a unique moment---- like none other----here on earth. Maybe, my night visitors are the reason I fear life-- much more than-- I fear death.