My great-grandma Laura Thueson England has been on my mind.
This is because I’m becoming mildly obsessed with my departed people and all their glorious foibles. I mean, don’t be alarmed, but the fact is that I descend from Princess Annabella of Scotland (born in 1436 in Holyrood Castle, Midlothian) (stop it. STOP IT.), the daughter of King James Stewart and Queen Joan Plantagenet Beaufort. Family history is sort of fabulous.
I also descend from bunches of people who left England, Scotland, New Zealand, and Denmark to emigrate to….(wait for it)…Utah. To live in dugouts and cabins. I’m astonished and blown away at their stories. They did hard things and they did it with faith as their propeller and their rudder.
But Laura England specifically is on my mind. She was born in 1875 in Scipio, Utah, which is renowned for NOT being Holyrood Castle in Scotland, but for being a tiny town en route to Southern Utah (which is to say, it’s not renowned). She married Charles England and lived much of her life in Plain City, another tiny town.
These are the things I know about her: She lost her first daughter at the age of two, her husband died of cancer the day before Thanksgiving at age fifty-two, she cared for her mother and both her husband’s parents in her home at the end of their lives, for many of her older years she consistently took a bus from Weber County to the Salt Lake temple once a week to do temple sessions, and she lived with my mother and was cared for by my grandma Lila at the end of her life.
I also know from my mom that when Laura cared for her mother, Alice Wasden Thueson, at the end of her life, Alice told her, “If there is any way I can reach out to you from beyond the veil to warn you of something, I will do it.” To which Laura replied, “Then I hope you don’t reach out to me.” I mean, right?
The fact is, though, that Laura’s mother Alice DID reach out to her in a spirit of warning or preparedness, in the form of three dreams at three different times in Laura’s life. The first was before her toddler daughter, Loneda, died. The second was before her husband, Charles, died. The third time was also relating to the death of a loved one, although it hasn’t been written about and my one living source on the topic can’t remember the specifics. Which is fine, because the important parts of Laura’s story are intact.
My great-grandmother had revelatory dreams, people.
I have never felt so connected to one of my departed relatives.
Meanwhile, my dreams have been of the vivid, detailed, and instructive variety throughout the months of January and February (and, frankly, well before that). While I write here about many of my dreams, I don’t write about all of them. There are too many. They would comprise a book. And they are meaningful mostly only for me. Some are pleasant. Some are disturbing. Some are filled with beauty. Some are traumatic.
All of them stay with me when I wake up and leave me with lingering feelings relating to the tone of the dream, and all of them cause me to take stock of what I have seen and felt.
I’ve always been enchanted by dreams as a portal to the subconscious mind. But now I’m fascinated by my dream life as a vehicle for spirituality. I’m learning so much as I simply write down what I see and feel, forgoing the urge to make sense of it or assign meaning to it. My initial interpretations are usually wrong, but if I wait and observe, the actual meaning tends to materialize. Or I have hope that it will materialize.
My dreams over the years have gone from reflecting my fears to giving me peace in turbulence. They speak to me in symbols about my life as it currently is, and as it relates to my Heavenly Mother’s and Father’s plan for my life. It’s the blueprint overlaying the fully rendered art piece of a soul’s potential.
I don’t think this is because I’m particularly special. I think it’s because our Heavenly Parents have big, amazing plans for all of us. Mine just happen to come to me in the form of my dreams, as they did, at least at key points in her life, for my grandmother Laura.