Dutch, who is not really named Dutch, left for work really early this morning. People who know him know that his name is Jeff, and they wonder aloud to him why ye olde blog refers to him as Dutch. If you care to find out the reason, which isn’t super interesting but is basically that he gave himself the nickname and now can’t believe I’m running with it, read this. 

But that is not the point of this post.

Dutch left early this morning after kissing me goodbye and tiptoeing past our sleeping kids’ bedrooms. I rolled over and fell back asleep, at which point I had this dream:

Jeff/Dutch was leaving for work and I was walking down the stairs behind him. He stopped midway down and clutched his chest, leaning back to recline on the steps. He couldn’t speak. He was struggling to breathe. I crouched beside him and cradled his head.

“Are you okay? Should I call for help?”

“Maybe,” he whispered.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed 9-1-1. I asked for help and had to repeat our address three times because I couldn’t get it out. I was speaking in a choked whisper.

While we waited for help to arrive, this is what happened:

1. I stroked Jeff’s face and asked him to please stay with me.

2. He whispered brokenly, “I’ll try…”

3. There were no children around us. We were alone. This doesn’t happen much.

4. Everything was oddly calm and quiet, yet terribly sad.

5. At the bottom of the staircase, there was a wagon filled with vacuums and kitchen implements, which actually isn’t a strange dream sequence touch, but a nice bit of reality.

6. When I looked back at Jeff after noticing the wagon, he had scooted himself up the stairs and, while still lying down, was fixing a broken smoke detector with his multi-tool. This is so Jeff. He may be expiring from the world, but he will go ahead and fix that thing first.


I woke up sad. The kind of sad that doesn’t instantly go away when you realize it was just a dream. I was also grateful, and not just because it was only a dream, but grateful for us. Then I laughed, because fixing a broken smoke detector as you lay possibly dying is funny.

Jeff is my happy place.


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