Friday, December 16, 2016

Seven years ago I had a dream. It had never happened before, and it hasn't happened since. I'm not one for dreams worth remembering, but this one felt more real that anything I've ever experienced. 

I was cold and shivering in the dark. Suddenly, a great warmth washed over my body. The air became thick with humidity and a brightness surrounded me. It was blinding. I drew my arms up to shield my face from its piercing light. As quickly as it had come, it subsided. I slowly dropped my hands back down and peered through heavy eyelids with apprehension. 

I was in the most beautiful place I'd ever seen. To describe it here seems pitiful. It was a jungle, but it was safe. A paradise. Through the foliage, that same light glowed, and it captivated me. With a compulsion I could not refuse, my feet carried me toward it. I couldn't run fast enough. Furiously pushing branches and vines aside to forge a path, I struggled until one giant banana leaf stood in my way. I reached out to shove it aside. My fingers brushed the edge of the waxy leaf, opening a tiny pocket where the light flooded through. The force of it knocked me back into consciousness.  

Never in my life have I been so desperate to go back to sleep, but it was futile. I was wide awake with nothing but the memory of this magical place. I wanted desperately to make it past the banana leaf, to enter fully into that wonderful, unimaginable presence. But its been elusive.

Today felt like a dream, but it wasn't. I can't tell you how many mornings I've woken in the past 24 days and instinctively run my hands across my flat belly. I've closed my eyes, begging for this to be the dream. I want to wake up to a reality where John Mark is still safe inside of me. But today was a reckoning day. We lowered the body of our baby into the ground. We sprinkled dirt over the burial vault and laid flowers on the grass in his honor as the sun began to set. Finally alone, I stood still- taking in the weight of finality.

Last night rain clouds enshrouded the sky. This morning I woke to a violent wind. It threw the chairs across the deck and dislodged the branches from the palms high above. It left nothing in the air, clarity and sharpness overtook the day. And by late afternoon, it had made way for the rays of the sun to break through in a way I don't often witness. The little spot of ground that John Mark takes up was completely bathed in the brilliant light. As I stood at the foot of his grave, I was blinded. Though my body shivered in the piercing wind, though my frame was wracked with sobs, the light was still there. That same light from my dream. 

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