I lifted my gaze from the face of my daughter who lay swaddled in my arms, still under the spell of sleepy newborn slumber. In the distance, I watched the pinpoint of a shadowy figure emerge from the light at the end of the darkened corridor. The darkness didn’t bother me. I was content with the weight of the new life in my arms. My eyes struggled to focus on the approaching form. As the space between us began to close, it was my grandmother whose form finally obscured the bright light. Her shuffling approach slowed and I recognized the familiar glint of mischievousness in her eyes. Her mouth turned up slightly in one of her trademark sarcastic smiles as our eyes met. Her expression dared me to ask how she had gotten here.
She stopped before me and tore her gaze from mine. I saw the anticipation in the slight bend of her head as she stooped over Gwen and pulled the swaddle aside. A minute inhale could be heard when her eyes met my new baby. A moment of quiet reflection followed. She looked up at me, her white hair casting shimmering glints reflected from the light behind her. Our eyes met. “Well, ain’t she cunnin’, doll…” Her smile told me she was proud. Without speaking, she told me she loved me. I wanted to reach out and touch her face, but my arms were filled with my baby. Slowly she turned and shuffled back down the corridor while I stood watching. Without turning back, she became a slight pinpoint of shadow. Then she was gone. The light closed upon itself with a discernable pop.

My eyelids fluttered open. My vision was filled with my sleeping daughter, still held under the spell of sleepy newborn slumber. I rolled over to the warmth of David’s arm and kissed him awake. “I just had a dream. Mema was there. She came to meet Gwen.”

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