I’m back from hiatus–one which I didn’t announce or comment on or even anticipate. It’s been three months of Not Writing, While Still Trying. I don’t want to talk about my painful writing life. Instead of beating myself up about this fallow blog, I have tried to just sink into the stillness and ponder/reflect/learn from my life in the process.
The update is this: I am the first line of defense for one of my children, who is not doing great. Things are going poorly in many different ways for this child, and I am right in the thick of it with him.
All of this is fine. It’s just life. I have been experiencing some PTSD relating to crisis periods with Jack. I also feel a little like I’m back in the early Jack years with the trying/failing/thinking creatively/suffering cycle. Anyway, things have been ratcheting up in intensity and difficulty, but this isn’t a woeful post.
I’m here to tell you about three dreams I’ve had while going through this hard time, because as readers of this blog know, God mainly speaks to me through dreams. I don’t know why this is, but I’m not here to argue with God. You may take whatever you wish from these dreams, if you choose to read them. They have been powerful enough to push me out of sorrow and back to my laptop, so they have clearly spoken to me.
First Dream: This one happened two nights before every single thing with my son came to a head and I finally recognized that this wasn’t going to fix itself, nor was I big enough or smart enough to find my way through it alone. Keep in mind, I had this dream before everything fell dramatically apart. A few identifying features have been redacted for privacy.
I dreamed I was driving *child* to my mom’s house at night. This is something that has been happening regularly, so it’s a familiar scenario. I’d just turned left from *new road* to *major thoroughfare* when everything became very dark. I had no more headlights, I couldn’t see anyone else’s headlights, and there was no light from buildings or streetlights. I couldn’t even see anything inside the car. It was terrifying–just utter darkness everywhere.
I went to pull over so we wouldn’t hit anyone, but I couldn’t even see the shoulder of the road. Consumed with panic, I worried I was going to crash into someone or something at any moment. As the dream ended, I noticed there was a small, dim light on behind me inside the middle of the car. I wondered if it would be enough light to help me figure out how to fix the situation or find a way to restore the lights.
Back in real time, the Very Bad Day happened, and I was desperately looking for professional help for *child* from all the sources while also trying to accept that this was Not Good and also Way Beyond Me. When the dust began to settle, *child* said he wanted to go to Grandma’s house, which I felt was a good idea, since we each needed some space from each other, and I needed to figure out how to proceed.
Jeff got home from work. We all climbed in the car, and the psychiatrist called my cell phone. She and I had a strange conversation, since I was speaking in code as *child* was in the backseat playing ipad but potentially listening. She was very concerned and instantly took action. I thanked her and hung up the phone, and then proceeded to turn left from *new road* onto *major thoroughfare* in the dark, with *child* in the backseat, just as in my dream. The dream was playing out in real life.
I suddenly remembered the devastating blackness that surrounded us in the dream. But this time, there WAS light–from the headlights and dashboard and the things around us. It wasn’t a lot of light, but it was enough.
I felt seen.
I knew that my Heavenly Parents KNEW. They knew, even before I knew, and sent the dream before the Awful Day when we were all at our lowest, so that I would remember it as I was actually living it. They knew our psychiatrist would call me and help make a plan and that I would end that call just as I made that same turn as in my dream.
Driving in the dark, with pricks of light all around us, I thought about Jesus. He’s our Savior, mine and *child’s.* I am drawing strength from his light, even when I can only grasp at it weakly, like the woman with the issue of blood who reached out to touch his robe.
That dream helped me move forward, and do it with a sense that things would be okay. Probably not instantaneously, but we had enough light and help to proceed to the next right thing (see: Frozen 2).
I did the next right thing, and then the next right thing after that. I’m taking on each issue as it arises, and I’ve been trying not to worry too much about the future. Mindfulness, baby. It’s about right now.
Then a few nights ago, I had one of the most peaceful dreams I’ve ever experienced.
I dreamed *child* was in Hawaii with my mom. I arrived there after them and when I got to the beach house, he was excited to show me something. We went outside and I saw that the beach house was right next to the water, with a calm turquoise inlet and small sandy beach right beside the cottage. There was a hammock set up in the sand, and the water was clear, warm, and shallow.
*Child* said, “You know how you like it when the water stays shallow for a long way out into the ocean? Well that’s how this beach is.” This is something I’ve never verbalized, but which is true of me. He and I played in the water. He was so calm and peaceful and happy. He was self-aware and curious and unafraid. I awoke astonished at both his demeanor and the jewel of a beach that was ours to enjoy.
It was the kind of dream that leaves you physically and emotionally clinging to the feeling of the dream. Reader, I was floating in peace.
This dream delivered hope, and it did it with richness and vivacity. I saw this one as essentially just a gift–something to help me see *child’s* true spirit, without the behavioral troubles clouding my view.
Finally, just this morning before I woke, I dreamed this:
My mom and I and the boys were riding a shuttle bus and moving/hauling lots of *child’s* stuff with us. When the bus stopped and we all got off, I noticed a middle-aged woman who I recognized as Grandma Goates, though she was younger than when I knew her in life, like probably in her fifties.
She walked over to *child* and exclaimed that this was her little great-grandson. She had her hands on the sides of his face and head, and was gazing lovingly at him. I realized that I had been so burdened with moving two enormous person-sized lamps (why tho???) of *child’s* that I hadn’t approached her first. Instead, she saw us, and reached out with great tenderness and love. It felt like she was ministering to our spirits.
When I moved the giant lamps aside, I looked back at her and saw that now she was talking to an eight-year-old girl from the 1980’s with short permed hair, lavender pants, and a purple and white sweatshirt. I am pretty sure she was talking to a young version of me.
You’re welcome to scoff at what I’m going to say next. Skeptics can’t alter what the Spirit has truthfully told me. This last one wasn’t a dream. It was a visitation. The scriptures record that “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost,” and I knew that Grandma Goates is in reality ministering to me and *child* because the “dream” allowed me to see it.
I don’t even have the words to really weave these dream/gifts into a cohesive essay. Words are hard at the moment. They evade me.
The point is, each of these dreams delivered what I needed, when I most needed it. They were spiritual and beautiful and are buoying me up through all of this.