Monday, December 6, 2010

Come Sail Away

Major Havoc was watching me, looking nervous and uncertain but trying hard to be calm and brave. Captain Chaos was behind him, oblivious to what was about to happen, twirling in circles while waiting for her turn to board the boat. We couldn’t see the boat. It was on the other side of a wall, around the corner, and there was a long line of people steadily and quietly moving forward. They blocked my view, but I knew that even if I wanted to I would never be allowed to look around the corner. Not yet, at least. Not until it was my turn to disembark. Somehow, I knew that my turn wasn’t coming for a long time.

The Major asked me once again what was going to happen. I dropped to one knee in front of him and held his face in my hands. I explained that he was going on a short boat ride. I assured him that everything would be okay. I promised him that I would be on a boat behind him, and that I would join him on the other side. We’ll be together, I promised. That was the first lie. It seemed to help him, but only for a bit. I gave him a hug and told him that I loved him.

The Boss was standing behind the Major. She peeked around the corner, watching the line of people as they boarded the boat. “Oh, look! The driver of the boat is Sharon. We know her from church. Major, you know Sharon. You like her!” He glanced at the boat driver but quickly turned his attention back to me.

“And you’ll be there?” he asked, looking down at his hands.

“Not right away, but I will come later, when it is my turn,” I replied. “Then we’ll be together.”

That was my second lie. He would not know me when I arrived. He would not be waiting for me. He would not remember me, and as incomprehensible as it seemed at that moment, I knew that I would not remember him. How can a parent possibly forget their children? We would not be together because no one remembers life once they’ve crossed the river Styx. It was the river of forgetfulness. I knew he didn’t believe me, but it didn’t matter. In a few moments, nothing would matter. For him.

I hugged him again.

As far as dreams go, it could have been so much worse than it was. I couldn’t take any more of it so I forced myself to wake up. The clock next to my bed announced 5:57 in glowing red numbers. I was up for the day. My first action upon leaving my bedroom was to reheat a cup of coffee. I sipped that as went to the children’s bedroom and checked on them. Both the Captain and the Major were peacefully asleep, completely unaware of their father’s restless dream.

Why do parents dream about the death of their children? What takes place in the inner workings of the human mind that would bring to life the image of a parent’s worst fears? Why would I dream of a mythological afterlife that I don’t believe in and would never desire? Why would I dream that I was losing three of the four most important people in my life, but fixate on only one child? (who, as I type, is merrily investigating the contents of his St. Nicholas Day stocking) (Whew!)  There are a hundred other questions I could ask, but each one is as unanswerable as the one before it. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wouldn’t be able to return to sleep, I needed to check on my children, and this was not the manner in which I wanted to start my Monday morning.


Brownie said...

well CRAP! You had my heart lurching on that one.

Khourt said...

Sometimes dreams are just strange.

L. said...

It sure shows how much you love them. Other than that it brought back memories of equally disturbing dreams. Not pleasant...not pleasant at all.

S.K. said...

I hate those kinds of dreams. They always mess up your day so bad. I always try to remember them though, because I feel like something that significant has to be important somehow, someday, and I want to remember it when it is.

Oklahoma Granny said...

What a horrible dream!

Khourt said...

In response to your comment about the yellow belt testing.. Kaia gets to test every 3 months.. He started in August and there was a testing in Sept but he wasnt eligible for it yet.. How often are you guys tested for new belts?

Marlis said...

I too have had dreams that symbolized my worry and my love for my children. Surely all loving parents had similar dreams after which, heart pounding, they approach their sleeping childrens' beds to calm and comfort themselves. It is merely a reflection of the inner fears we all have and given what I read recently you've come closer than many of us to actually losing a child.

The_Kid said...

Well, All I can say is we all have these types of dreams.