MInga visited me in a dream, a very vivid one, and invited me along to her funeral. I took it as her way of sharing that final experience with me, in a way that I could manage — in dream.
She wanted me to know about the depth of her faith. I think I always understood that. In a very elemental way, Minga believed in a God that would never abandon her, and that belief allowed her to see life through. She had a lot of instability after her mother died when she was small, and always crushing poverty. Late in life, the last ten years when her children had grown and could help support her, she had the most financially stable period of her life. Her family, very small in number when she was growing up, blossomed: nine grown children, and I can’t count how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, plus the significant others of her sons and daughters. There were a lot of times along the way when she could have given up, lost hope, and she never did. She knew God was with her.
Minga and I never had a conversation about faith. Questioning God’s existence in her life would have been like questioning the ground under her feet, the air she breathed, the large cast iron pot that sat on her fogon, the one for which she gathered firewood in the early years in order to cook. Her faith in God was solid, dense, all around her, as familiar as the trusted elements of daily life.
She certainly knew I didn’t go to the small village church when I was there, not even the year that I stayed for three months. She never asked why. Was it because my unbelief would have been inconceivable to her? Or, was she giving me room? I have no idea.
I liked the visit from her, in dream. I already had the images of her funeral, from the pictures and videos Lily sent. Now I had Minga, making sense of it all for me, guiding me through her transition from earthly life to an afterlife in which she unquestioningly believed.
I take it as a Christmas message, one of joy and hope.