Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When fact & fiction twist together December 19, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo, March 2019.


THE ROUTE TOOK US along a twisting river road past decaying and broken trees in dense woods. I worried a limb might drop atop our van as we drove north out of Lucan in southwestern Minnesota.

Then we reached a spot abuzz with people—campers and anglers mostly—stopping at a store to stock up on supplies. We decided to stop, too, and explore this rustic place in the middle of nowhere. Randy parked. Then we, with kids in tow, crossed a narrow walkway over a stream as we hiked toward the store some distance away.

Once inside, a maze of rooms awaited us at this lakeside property. People swarmed the shop. We browsed.

I decided, at some point, that I needed photos of this unique rural general store. But I’d left my camera in the van, a choice I sometimes make when I opt to simply enjoy being in the moment.

But once outside, I couldn’t find the van among the vehicles jammed into parking spaces scattered through the woods. By that time the rest of the family had exited the shop and we began, in earnest, to search for the van. I remembered then, as I crossed the narrow walkway over the stream, that we’d parked on the other side of the waterway. Near an ice cream shop I hadn’t initially noticed. How could that be?

After searching to no avail, I inquired about the missing van. They had it towed, the dispenser of ice cream said. I understood none of this. Sure, we’d experienced problems with the van, but nothing tow-worthy. We needed our vehicle to get to our niece’s 3 p.m. wedding and to visit my mom prior. By this time I was crying, sobbing really, frantic words pouring forth. “My mom is in hospice. She’s dying,” I wailed. “We need our van.”

And then I awakened from my nightmare. Partially. The setting, the general store, the ice cream shop, the story-line are all fictitious—part of a dream I experienced a few nights ago. But snippets are real. Too real.

On the rare occasions when I recall my dreams, I can connect them to thoughts and emotions. My mom is in hospice. For real. I thought I was mentally and emotionally prepared for her ongoing decline in health. I am not. And our 2003 van, just days ago, was in the repair shop, causing me additional angst.

We have places to go, family to see, goodbyes to say…

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


13 Responses to “When fact & fiction twist together”

  1. Edward Brian Says:

    Oh Audrey how my heart aches for you. I lost my mom this year after she opted to have hospice in her home, it was not an easy thing to see or go through. The only comfort was the peace that only the Lord can provide, and later knowing that mom didn’t have to suffer anymore when she was gone. My prayers are for you, your family, and for all the things that make life difficult. God is in control and will provide.

    • I am so sorry for the loss of your mom recently. I understand your perspective on not wanting to see her suffer.

      Thank you for your prayers and your kind words. Psalm 46:10 (Be still, and know that I am God) has become my go-to scripture in the past year during many challenging months.

  2. Kiandra Judge Says:

    Anytime of the year is hard to be dealing with the fear and sadness of a loved one in declining health, but it always seems harder at Christmas. I will be thinking of you and your family and keeping you in my prayers.

  3. Sometimes you need the slow lane versus the strap in, hang on for dear life rollercoaster lane. Hopefully over the next few weeks we can find that time to decompress, spend that quality time with our greatest someones and just celebrate the season, the blessings, etc. Happy Day – Enjoy, Soak It In, Savor It 🙂

  4. valeriebollinger Says:

    Thank you for sharing your dream. Dreams are fascinating. I pray all will go well for you as you travel in your van to see you mother and family.

  5. Missy’s Håndarbeid (Missy’s Crafty Mess) Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your mothers health. I’m sure that would be enough to cause stressful dreams. Prayers for your mother and your entire family.

  6. Beth Ann Says:

    When our real life slips into our dreams we realize how intense our real life actually is. I always wake up from dreams like yours thinking it is all true which is so scary. I am grateful that things aren’t quite as bad as your dream but it is all sure wearing on you. Prayers and hugs to you across the miles. ❤️

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