Are You Scared of the Dentist?

A lot of people have fear of going to the dentist.  But my Throwback Thursday story today involves my fear of someone else going to the dentist.

About six years ago, my birth mother called me one evening.  She said she had a conflict in her schedule and asked me to take my Grandma to the dentist the following morning.  As soon as she asked me, I had a feeling in my bones that it wouldn’t go well.

That night, I had a dream that while in the dentist’s chair, Grandma had a heart attack and three paramedics had to take her to the hospital.  I dreamed they all came and left through a back door  — which was odd because I had gone to that dentist for several years of my life and I never even knew they had a backdoor.  I knew she would be fine in the end, but the experience would frighten her and make it much worse for her, especially while they tried to hook her to a machine.  She was already dealing with early stages of dementia, and I just saw her in my dream being terrified.  I also saw in my dream that I would be at the hospital with her, and we wouldn’t be able to reach anyone to tell them the news.

Besides taking Grandma to the dentist, I also had plans with my friend Angie that day.  Angie’s a nurse, and it was her day off.

When I woke up, I first picked up Angie, then we picked up Grandma.  We took her to the dentist and waited until she was called back, then Angie and I went to lunch.  The dentist’s office said it would be a two hour procedure and they’d call me when they finished.

As Angie and I ordered lunch, my mind was a million miles away.  It was on my dream.  Angie saw I was preoccupied and asked what was wrong.  I told her about my dream and included every little detail.  She laughed and told me it was only a dream and tried to assure me that I had nothing to worry about.  And she tried to convince me that since she was a nurse, she knew Grandma’s procedure was simple, and since Grandma had no prior history of heart problems, I should relax.

We ate lunch, though I was still dwelling on my dream.  We were going to do some shopping, but I couldn’t get my head out of the dentist’s office, so we went back to the dentist and sat in the lobby.  About a half hour later, the dentist called me back to his office to explain Grandma’s procedure.  He told me about her post-op care and said she did fine.

My jaw dropped open, and I said, “Really?  Because I’ve just been having a feeling all morning that she was going to have a heart attack here.”

He chuckled and told me I had nothing to worry about.  He said the assistant was cleaning Grandma up and they’d bring her up front in just a few minutes.

Just then, the receptionist stepped into the room and urgently said, “Doctor, we need you in back right away.”  He smiled and told me to go ahead and sit back in the lobby which I did.

Not two minutes later, the nurse came up front and quietly asked me to come to the back.  She said, “I don’t want to alarm you, but your Grandma is having a heart attack at this very moment.  We’ve called 911, and an ambulance is on the way.  I think she’ll feel better if you’re back there with her.”

When I got to the back, a back door was open, and an ambulance was parking in the back.  They had to open Grandma’s shirt to attach some wires to her chest, and she started freaking out and making the monitors beep even more wildly.  She swatted wildly at the medics trying to get them to stop, and they kept trying to calm her down which only made her more frightened and agitated.

After my morning of feeling panicked, a feeling of calm abruptly washed over me, and suddenly I saw everything as I had in my dream.  I stepped forward and told them, “She’s afraid because she doesn’t know what you’re doing.”  Then I turned to Grandma and calmly explained that they were trying to help her.

After the ambulance left, Angie drove with me to the hospital and stayed for a while until she had to leave and pick up her child from school.  Then I tried repeatedly to call my birth mom as well as other family members, and no one was available.  Every number I called went straight to voicemail… just like in my dream.

So tell me: Are you afraid of the dentist?  Have you ever been in a scary situation, yet had a calming feeling wash over you and known everything was going to turn out to be fine?

Miamibound

Sometimes, my dreams mean nothing.  For example, once I was going to be going to Boston for a week, and I had a repeated dream that I was going to be mugged in a dark alleyway.  I almost cancelled my trip, but decided to go forward with it.  I was never mugged, though I did avoid walking on streets with alleys after dark, so perhaps that was all the dream was meant to warn me to do.

At any rate, I’ve had enough dreams that do come to pass, that I generally make it a point to tell at least one person when I have them so that someone will know I really did dream it before it happened.

Case in point:  When I was a teenager, I had a good friend named Lisa.  We were both young moms, and we both grew up in our grandmas’ houses.  We decided to have a getaway and go to Miami for a girls’ weekend.  We both arranged for our Grandmas to babysit, and we mapped out our activities.

Again, this was in the days before computers and the internet, so when I say we mapped out our trip, we literally used a map and planned our route.  We also contacted a travel agent and got brochures of several things to do while we were there.  Even though we would only be gone for three days, we wanted to make the most of our time away from Mommyhood.

However, as the weekend of our trip approached, I repeatedly had a dream of the two of us being involved in a horrific car accident.  We went to school together and also hung out together quite frequently, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that we would be seen in a car together.  But as the days went by, I saw that our children were not in the backseat as they usually were in real life.  There weren’t even any baby car seats in the back.  I told Lisa about all my dreams, and she just laughed and said it was pre-vacation jitters about leaving the kids.

Finally, the night before our trip, I had the dream yet again, only this time, I saw a sign that said I-95 South… the very highway we would be using to go to Miami.  When Lisa woke up, I told her about that dream, and the color drained from her face.  She didn’t blow me off as she had previously.  We decided then and there to forget the trip altogether.  She went home and picked up her baby, and we took the kids to the park instead.

That night, Lisa and her child spent the night with me, and we watched the news…  And there was a huge accident on Southbound I-95 near Miami.  A semi crossed the lanes, multiple cars piled up, and many people died.  And it happened around the same time of day that we would’ve been there, had we left on time.

Time to talk…  Have you ever changed your plans because of a dream you or someone else had?  Have you ever had a bad feeling about doing something or going somewhere for no good reason?

Why I Don’t Need to Watch the News

As you already know, my grandparents raised me.  When I was small and my birth mother came around, she used to say that I was reincarnated from a Hispanic person because I spoke Spanish before I spoke English (which was odd because we didn’t know any Hispanic people).  I asked for agua instead of water, and my favorite color was rojo.  I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I’d probably be more inclined to think that I died in either a submarine or a sinking ship or perhaps a car overturned in a full ditch, because for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a gripping fear of dying in something enclosed under water, and as the enclosure fills up, I drown.  (Now, that’s not to say that perhaps I wasn’t a Hispanic person who died in such a way.  LOL!  Or perhaps it’s actually a premonition of how I will die.)  The weird thing is I have no fear of water itself.  You could drop me from an airplane into the middle of the Atlantic and I’d be fine.  And I also don’t fear boats.  But I don’t like being in the enclosed cabin of a boat, and flying over water with the doors closed (as if there’s any other way) makes me tense.  Even driving over a bridge, I like to roll down my windows.

So that said, it has absolutely nothing to do with my post today, except that I eventually married a Hispanic man, Mr. Carrera.  When his family visited, they spoke Spanish and more often than not, I just had a “feeling” what they were talking about, and when that happened and I told my mother-in-law, I was generally spot-on.

The rest of my story is again one I’ve shared before when I only first started blogging, so if you remember it, please pardon the rerun.

Well, my ex-husband and I had a horrible union and we were apart more than together.  When we finally separated, we went our separate ways, and that was that.  For the purpose of the rest of this post, my ex-husband’s name is “Bob.”  (That’s not really his name, but I don’t want to infringe on his privacy by revealing his true identity.)

After we were separated, I moved back home with my Grandma.  Shortly thereafter, I had a dream that Bob was in a phone booth outside a McDonald’s with two other people, and he was shot by a stranger who drove by with a gun.  The dream was exceptionally vivid, and I knew the exact intersection where that McDonald’s was located in my town.  It wasn’t an area that I went to very often, but even so, I still saw things clearly.

I was home from work that day because my doctor kept me out for the week with a bad sinus infection, so I slept later than I usually did.  When I woke, I was frazzled and shaky from my dream, to say the least.  It was so real, I was certain that Bob was dead.

I sat up and tried to shake the dream from my head, but it wouldn’t go.  So, I picked up the phone by my bed and called Bob before my feet even hit the floor.

He answered, and I felt an immediate sense of relief.  I told him my dream, then he got angry that I was pulling a stupid joke on him while he was at work.  I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about.  My hands were still shaking from how real my dream was, and I was quite upset.

Bob didn’t hide his disdain and irritation, and he told me to turn on the news.  We yelled at each other, and I hung up on him and didn’t think much more about it.  I got dressed and went to the kitchen where Grandma was reading the newspaper and drinking her coffee.

She asked me what the yelling was about, and I told her.  She then handed me the newspaper.  Apparently, the night before, there were three African-American men, one who was named Bob, inside a phone booth outside of the exact McDonald’s in my dream, and there was a drive-by shooting, and the African-American Bob was shot and killed!

Let’s talk: Have you ever had a feeling so strong you just knew you had to listen to it?  Have you ever ignored your gut feeling and regretted it later?

Second Verse, Same as the First

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m repeating a story that I already told you about a month after I started blogging.  Since then, I’ve picked up a lot more followers, so hopefully most of you won’t be bored with my rerun.  At the time, I wasn’t doing “theme months” yet.  If I would’ve had my themes in place, I’d have saved this story for now.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a convenience store, and I knew a lot of my customers by name because I had to card them for tobacco and alcohol sales.

There was one particular customer named Brad who came in every day after work.  The thing that stood out in my mind about Brad was that he looked like an actor named Lochlyn Munro that was in Lifetime Television movies in the 80s and 90s.

He drove an old blue Mustang, and we usually talked for a minute or two about non-important things each day.  The only things I really knew about him were job-related.

One night, I had a dream about Brad.  In my dream, he was with a tall, blonde girl named Suzanna, but he called her Sue.  They were in a brand new red Celica, and they were headed to a small town in Tennessee named Crab Orchard to see her family.  They stopped at a grocery store along the way, and as they were leaving the parking lot, they were involved in a car accident when someone sped into their car.  They were both very badly injured, Sue was hurt worse than Brad, and the car was totaled.  At the time of my dream, I remembered the name of the store, but it’s been so long ago that I’ve long since misplaced that fact.  But it was obvious in my dream the store was a single-owner store and not part of a franchise.  I’m thinking it started with a Z.  I vividly saw the surrounding area and the layout of the parking lot.

Now, I think it’s probably important to note that at the time, personal computers and the internet were unheard of.  I’d only been through Tennessee once when I was thirteen years old, and the only city names I remember from that trip were Lynchburg and Nashville. I’d never even heard of a place called Crab Orchard, but it kind of reminded me of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

The next day, Brad came into my store when he got off work, and something tugged at me until I was compelled to tell him my dream.  Keep in mind how awkward it would’ve been to say to someone who was little more than a stranger, “Hey, I had a dream about you last night.”  But I did.  He furrowed his brow, and we waited until the other customers left, then I proceeded to tell him every detail of my odd dream.

He looked at me kind of strangely, but didn’t really say anything more.  I thought at the time he must’ve thought I was completely nuts, and I was embarrassed that I’d said anything at all.  Seriously, I felt myself blush long after he left, and I was mentally kicking myself for the remainder of the night.

The next day, I didn’t think anything more about it until that afternoon when a red Celica pulled into the parking lot and a tall blonde girl got out.  I’d never seen her before, yet she looked so familiar.

She came in and stood in the store, not looking at anything to buy as she waited for the other customers to leave.  Then she introduced herself.  She said her name was Suzanna but people called her Sue, and that her boyfriend, Brad, told her about a dream I had about them.  She told me that she just bought her new car last week and she and Brad were planning a trip that very weekend to her hometown of Crab Orchard, Tennessee to see her dad.  She told me the store I mentioned was a store owned by her uncle, and the parking lot layout I described was spot-on!

She had goosebumps the entire time she spoke, then I got goosebumps seeing her reaction and how freaked out she was.  She said when Brad told her, he too had goosebumps, and the color drained from her face when he repeated my dream to her. She said she definitely took my dream as a sign, and because of that, she called her dad immediately and changed her plans.  She then hugged me and thanked me for saving her life!

Talk to me:  Have you ever dreamed about people you’ve never met or places you’ve never been?  Have you ever then later met the stranger of your dreams?

This is NOT the Zombie Apocalypse!

I am not a sci-fi person.*  And as I define sci-fi, I mean I do like TV shows such as The Twilight Zone or Quantum Leap.  Or The Jetsons.  I do like ghost stories and paranormal stuff.  But I do not watch such shows as Star Trek or Walking Dead.  I just don’t really get into outer space stuff or things like different intelligent species.

Once, my sister dragged me to Avatar with her, and I was the only person in the full theater who sat there clenching my teeth and growling the entire time.  I was sandwiched between my sister Michelle who kept gasping and putting her hand up to her mouth, and the man on the other side me who was, I believe, Tommy Chong’s doppelganger.  He kept slapping me on the knee and saying “Groovy!”  (Yes, really!)  Then I’d scowl at him, and he’d look at me and gasp and say, “Oh, I’m sorry.”  Then I’d glare at Michelle and between my clenched teeth say, “I hate you!”

I sometimes even have dreams that would probably make a really good sci-fi book or movie, but I just can’t wrap my head around them enough to do anything with them.  Just last week I had a dream about a zombie apocalypse, and I woke up saying, “Now where in the world did THAT come from?”

So, having said that, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m going to share one of the most embarrassing pieces of work I’ve ever written.  I was nine years old when I wrote this, and, yes, it was the first and only time I ever dipped my toe in the sci-fi pool.  I had a toy typewriter at the time, and I distinctly remember playing with my Barbies in the backyard when I had the “AHA! moment” to run inside RIGHT NOW and write this corny story.  So, if you want a good laugh today, then feel free to have one at my expense.  I don’t mind.  Really.

Click to enlarge (Page 1) — {How about these uniforms? LOL!}

Click to enlarge (Page 2) — {Half a cat? Really? LOL!}

Click to enlarge (Page 3) — {The Little Miss Universe Pageant? What girl wouldn’t want THAT title? LOL!}

Click to enlarge (Page 4) — {Check out Mrs. Maduley’s rear end! LOL!}

The Adventures of Starbaby (5)

Click to enlarge (Page 5) — {In case you’re wondering, yes, those are cat’s ribs on either side of Starbaby. LOL!}

And this is me at the age I wrote this sci-fi masterpiece after my one and only time fishing as a kid. Check out my fancy bellbottoms! Groovy!

 *Absolutely no offense is intended to all the wonderful sci-fi authors or fans.  I’m sure your work is very good.  I just don’t “get it.”

I’ll See You in My Dreams

Artists of all kinds, writers included, are sensitive souls. When we create our masterpieces, we reach deep inside ourselves to add part of us to the projects on which we work.  Then when we publicize our work, we brace ourselves as we know that the critics will crawl out of the woodwork, waiting to chew up and spit out our babies.

But when I say that writers are sensitive, I don’t mean to imply that we’re thin-skinned and easily get hurt feelings.  As a matter of fact, if that were the case, we’d be on a suicide mission every time we submitted anything for publication.  What I mean is that I believe we’re better in touch with our own feelings as well as the feelings of those around us.  (I particularly find it funny that I’m so extraordinarily empathetic, because I have Asperger’s Syndrome.  In case you don’t know, lack of empathy is generally one of the major symptoms associated with this form of Autism.)  

In yesterday’s post, I told you about several authors who had successfully predicted future inventions or events within their books.  And that got me to wondering how many of those writers may have dreamed their ideas for those novels.  Or how many of you who write, dream your next idea?  Personally, about half of the manuscripts that I’ve written have either come to me in a dream or all at once in a kind of a “vision” (and I hesitate to use that word because of the quirky taboo associated with it) the moment I woke up. 

I’ve had other dreams over the years that I felt at the time would probably make for a good book or movie, but oddly, they weren’t in a genre that I cared to write or see.  But over the years, I’ve come to find that other people don’t necessarily have dreams like that.

dreams

My sister, for example, almost always dreams of wonderful fantasy lives featuring herself.  For example, she dreams that she’s walking along, minding her business, when she looks down and finds a winning lottery ticket.  Or she’s home doing nothing, when suddenly, a handsome movie star knocks on the door to get directions because he’s lost, then he sees her, instantly falls in love, and asks her to marry him.  And sometimes when she’s mad at someone, she dreams that she has superhuman powers and beats them to a pulp until they beg her for mercy, then they apologize profusely for being so mean in the first place.  (And if you knew her, you’d know how ridiculous that one is.)  At any rate, she’s always the star and always comes out on top.

As for me, I’m almost never in my own dreams. Quite often, actually, they’re entirely about complete strangers.  I’ve also had numerous dreams in my life of things that came true, though sometimes they’re a bit skewed.  I’m not claiming to be any kind of psychic or anything like that.  I just think I’m extra sensitive to certain things going on around me.  When I have these dreams, they’re never because I am thinking about the subject beforehand.  They just happen, then I find out later how accurate they actually were. 

For example, for the purpose of this post, my ex-husband’s name is “Bob.”  (That’s not really his name, but I don’t want to infringe on his privacy by revealing his true identity.)  When we were separated, I had a dream that he was in a phone booth outside a McDonald’s and was with two other people when he was killed in a drive by shooting.  I woke up so frazzled, that before I even got out of bed, I called Bob and told him my dream.  But he got angry that I was pulling a stupid joke on him while he was at work.  I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. I was still shaking from how realistic my dream was, and I was quite upset.  Then he told me to turn on the news.  Apparently, there were three African-American men, one who was named Bob, inside a phone booth outside of a McDonald’s the night before, and in a drive-by shooting, that Bob was shot and killed.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a convenience store, and I knew a lot of my customers by name (because I had to card them for purchases of tobacco or alcohol).  I had a dream one night of a customer named Brad who always drove a blue Mustang.  In my dream, he was with a tall, blonde girl named Suzanna, but he called her Sue.  They were in a brand new red Celica, and they were headed to a small town in Tennessee named Crab Orchard to see her family.  They stopped at a grocery store along the way, where they were involved in a car accident as they were leaving the parking lot.  The next day, Brad came into my store when he got off work, and I told him my dream.  He looked at me kind of oddly, but didn’t really say anything more.  I didn’t think anything more about it until the day after that when a red Celica pulled into the parking lot, and a tall blonde girl got out.  She came in and stood in the store, not looking at anything to buy as she waited for the other customers to leave.  Then she introduced herself.  She said her name was Suzanna, but people called her Sue, and that her boyfriend Brad told her about a dream I had about them!  She said she just got her new car the week before, and she and Brad were planning a trip that very weekend to her hometown of Crab Orchard, Tennessee to see her dad.  But because of my dream, she changed her plans. 

So, hopefully I didn’t make you think that I’m a complete oddball.  (I usually get one of two reactions when I share my dreams such as these:  Either, “Wow, that’s so cool!” or, “Um,  okay… Well, that’s sure weird!”)   If you found any of this interesting, I have dozens of similar prophetic dreams I can share.  But now, I want to know… What do you dream?