In my dream two nights ago, I was preparing for a severe storm. Apparently, we lived in a ginormous house, and I was on the telephone and iPad (coordinating with people who may need to come visit and stay in the basement of said ginormous house) when I received a phone call from my sister. We chatted while I worked; then, suddenly, alarm filled her voice as she said, “Your little guy is choking!” (He was staying with her for some reason, I’m guessing.) We got off the phone, and I continued my preparations for the storm. I was trying to get a weather report on the iPad (but was having connection trouble) when my phone rang again. My sister’s voice on the other end simply said, “He’s dead.”
In that moment, (trying to assure her…or maybe even myself…?) I said, “It’s okay. I just spent the most wonderful day with him yesterday.” My mind flashed back to moments of cuddles and stories and laughter and happiness of the prior day, and I truly did feel relief that, were he dead, he died knowing his mother loved him and had done all she knew to care for him.
Upon waking, of course a bit of alarm set in, and I removed my covers as my feet carried me, almost without thinking, to his room. I reached for the spot on his back where his Batman pajama shirt had lifted and exposed a tiny stripe of skin above his waistline. I touched it and waited for my hand to rise and fall with his breath. As my hand moved up and down in time with his diaphragm’s expansion and contraction, I took a breath myself for the first time in several moments.
I proceeded to find all of my little people, alive and well, breathing the slow, heavy breath of sleep, of dreams. I fell to my knees in the last one’s room to offer up thanks for sparing their lives each day so that I can have the privilege of more sweet moments with them.
My feet then returned me toward my bedroom. As I walked through the kitchen, the microwave clock read a scarlet 2:38. Lifting my covers, I returned to bed but not to sleep. I lay pondering the day, wondering that if–or when–that phone call ever came to me, would I be able to respond with the same feeling of relief embodied in my dream–that our last moments together were blissful, peaceful, loving, happy? Would my children leave this frail existence knowing that their mother loved them? I was determined to work on sharing the love of my heart with them more readily and worry less about the little irritations and fatigue that so easily beset me. I was determined to complain less and love more, to fuss less and laugh more, to worry less and sing more.
Will you join me?