I thought I would write a poem as I’ve always done to honor Preston on this, his Ninth Angelversary. However, on November 21 I had a very vivid dream that told me otherwise. So vivid I could smell the fresh, cool air like Autumn was waving Winter into existence. I felt my beloved boy’s soft cheeks and kissed them repeatedly as his hair brushed against my face while I hugged him. It was as if I had a visitation rather than a dream. The universe spoke and I couldn’t help but listen.
In my dream, as always, Preston was small. He was sitting at the top of a hill that looked a lot like my parents’ property on South Mountain where I grew up. The hill my sister, Julie and I used to sled down. Sam and Samantha were standing beside him, each wearing their big, signature smiles. Tucking his chin into his chest, Preston kept looking down the hill and kicking his legs. I asked him if he wanted to run down the hill. And all at once I heard a voice I haven’t heard since this bittersweet time of remembrance a year ago – the very first time I heard his voice in a dream. He excitedly said, “Uh huh.” So I lifted his body into my arms and ran the length of the hill with him. Reaching the bottom I stomped my feet and jostled him about, saying “Ta dah!” He belly laughed. I felt the bravery and joy of a true belly laugh vibrating through the permanence of the air as if electrons were charging my very soul. As I turned to run back to the top I noticed several different footprints that ran the length of the hill. Their various sizes imprinted into the earth claiming my heart and soul for all eternity. In my dream I stood gazing at the footprints for what seemed to be forever. And who knows – maybe I did stare at them seemingly for hours as I held Preston in my arms while my body lie slumbering. That’s the wonderment of dreaming, isn’t it?
Once at the crest I stomped my feet and jostled him about again, and somewhat out of breath proclaimed, “You conquered the hill!” We all laughed even more, the way we always used to laugh – Heartily. Our bellies pressing outwardly toward whatever was pressing in on us.
While I never ran up and down one hill with Preston, I appreciate the metaphor that was my dream. While carrying whatever life threw at us. At him. We always laughed.
Equally, I know my dream was about the book I’m ‘carrying.’ And I’m touched beyond the capacity mere words will allow. Since writing it I’ve had so many dreams about Preston – far more than before I started working on the book full time. It’s simply unexplainable in the conventional sense. But nothing about our red-headed boy was simple or explainable. Getting so close to what is stored in my memory place was one of the things that kept me from fully immersing myself in writing, years ago. I thought it would take me to a dark, scary place from which I’d never return. The only scary place was ‘thinking’ about what might scare me. Inaction was the scariest thing of all. My dreams and my writing have only served to enlighten me.
Without giving anything away, I will say that there are many unexplainable things in the book. This much I know to be a truth by which my heart operates – you cannot look at a single star in the night sky without seeing all the shiny things in your peripheral. In looking back at our twenty-three years with Preston and being shamelessly vulnerable in my writing; I’ve realized far beyond what I knew before, that love and wisdom forever dwell in all the broken little pieces that light up the sky. And that is the essence of my book, the truth before us and all the shiny little things that abound. I’m so happy to say that the book is three fourths of the way done. I can just about see it all grown up and out there in the world by itself. I simply cannot wait to share with all of you what my soul has heard.
Be extra kind this holiday season. LOVE YOUR PEOPLE. The world is without so many precious souls.
I wish everyone Peace and Love. Miss you all.