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The following story was written by Liz Lippa and shared as part of the Memory Project.

I have just spent the last year living through two difficult health issues. One was a car accident, when my own car ran over me and came to rest on my left leg, just above my knee. I went through three hospitalizations, a week in a nursing home, a surgery, and many months of wound care until I was in a state of safety from serious infection from my injury.

Just as I was about to do what was necessary to regain full use of my leg, I went for a mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two more surgeries and eight chemotherapy treatments later, I am recovering from the nerve damage the chemotherapy inflicted on my legs, and I am still healing from the accident wound.

This week, I celebrated my sixty-ninth birthday and had an amazing experience on the morning of my birthday. It was about three or four in the morning, and my mother, who died thirty-five years ago, visited me in my sleep. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but this one was visually and kinesthetically vivid and memorable. My mother came to my bed and climbed in with me. We did not have a conversation, but she held me and stroked me for a long time, and I could see her clearly.

It was the most delightful dream I can ever remember, and, when I awoke, I felt so wonderfully loved and fulfilled. My whole body was still experiencing the warmth of her contact with me, and it felt like such a delicious birthday gift.

The most interesting part of this event is that my mother died when she was sixty-nine years old. Could such a thing possibly be a coincidence?