I had a dream today.
As I’ve mentioned before, they happen rarely.
I’ve been sick this week, struggling against a cold that has had me napping daily. And during today’s mid-morning short nap, I had a dream.
Why today was any different, I don’t know. Maybe it’s some of the random things that have been occurring in daily life lately, too many and too random to list, or maybe it’s because we are just a few days away from his birthday. Maybe it’s because of what Little Man said yesterday. (This is it’s own story to be written one day, but in short, he prayed that he could have a daddy on Earth in addition to in heaven…) Or maybe there is no significance for the day or the why…maybe he likes to work without reason.
Regardless, I had a dream today. And it stuck with me, like they always do.
When I first woke up, in that place between wakefulness and sleep, it felt so real. It was just enough that I couldn’t quite tell it was a dream, couldn’t quite tell what was going on. It even took me a few minutes to realize who I was dreaming about, because the reality of the fact that I could possibly be dreaming about him because he was actually gone hadn’t hit me yet. Then once it did, I did the usual roll-over-and-squeeze-your-eyes-shut-tight thing, as if maybe I could possibly go back to sleep and keep the dream going. Or at least remember enough of it to savor it, or figure out the message.
But as usual, I can only remember snippets. Vignettes, images, words.
In my dream, I woke up somewhere in a house. I immediately began searching, I knew I was searching for something important but didn’t realize what it was yet. After looking in room after room, I found him on the porch. Wrapped up in a hoodie, holding a pack of cloves. Empty. I still didn’t see his face, or even realize who he was. I just sighed and sat down across from him with a soft smile, picked up the empty pack and asked him ‘why did you do that, didn’t you know that would hurt you?’ But as soon as I asked it, I put down the empty pack and told him ‘it’s okay, sometimes I’ve had too many too, gotten too close to try to dull the pain too, I understand, it’s alright.’ Then I reached out and pulled him into my lap, his head on my shoulder, and rubbed his back…that’s the strongest image of the entire dream, him curled up in my lap, me rubbing his back covered with a black hoodie sweater…that’s when I realized it was him.
As soon as I realized it was him, it’s like my waking mind connected with the dream mind somehow, because I immediately wanted to talk to him. I pulled him away from me, looked at his face. I only remember a frantic feeling, suddenly asking him everything, if he was okay, if he would ‘tell me’…whatever that means. And this is where it gets blurry. The only thing I can remember is his smile, him trying to soothe me, and somewhere in there him telling me we ‘would talk about it Friday.’
Then I woke up.
And all day today, I can’t get over it.
You see, most days I am okay. I am well-adjusted, I am self-sufficient, I am okay. In fact, I’d venture to say I am pretty happy and life has become normal.
But today, it hit me again.
THIS IS NOT OKAY. This life is NOT OKAY.
It’s just not.
As far as I try to go, as much as I try to move forward, as many steps as I take….am I just deluding myself? Is it always going to be ‘two steps forward, one step back’? Am I destined for that forever?
Moments like this one, parts of me would rather say f$&k trying to be well-adjusted. Screw trying to heal, or move forward, or make it all work. I would rather just sink right down into the ‘THIS LIFE IS STUPID’, abandon all of the progress, have a Jack and Coke, and cry.
And maybe that’s what I need to do. Maybe that’s part of the progress, recognizing that need to wallow, to feel, to mourn…acting on it, allowing it to be…and then picking back up and carrying on tomorrow. Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to talk to me in my dream until Friday. Or maybe I’m just a little crazy.
Whatever it is, I am sharing it here, because that seems always seems to help. I can’t be the only one who has lose-my-mind moments, even at 4.5 years out.
I had a dream today.