The Hippe cracks me up. She got ready for her playdate, dressed in her Sunday best, had me do her hair. Her best friend is one of our neighbors and they see each other all the time. I couldn't understand why this certain day had to be so special.
When our neighbor knocked on the door, The Hippie ran downstairs in a flurry of taffeta. "Oh hello. Isn't it wonderful seeing you here. Would you like to come in for some tea?"
"Sure." Her friend shrugged. They both have light blonde hair and could pass for sisters. The Hippie asked if they could have sprite and popsicles so they could stir the popsicles into their sprite.
"I guess," I said and the "tea" party began.
Now do you remember me saying how The Zombie Elf had strep? Well, at that very moment while The Zombie Elf and Doctor Jones (my one-year-old) were sleeping, I started feeling very sick.
"What's going on in the kitchen?" The Scribe asked. "They're being awfully girlie."
"They're having a tea party. I bet you could play with them too if you wanted to."
"No. That's girl stuff. I'll just work on my blog." I can't believe that kid. She's still writing paper "blogs" and putting them into the same random locker at school.
So, with all that going on. I rested on the couch because I was really feeling quite sick.
I closed my eyes and before I knew it, I was dreaming.
The air was sweet, like a bursting pomegranate. Leaves dotted the forest floor. I wore the most beautiful dress, made from white muslin and the finest lacy, ribbon trims. I ran, knowing something waited behind me. The place exuded perfection but no matter how hard I tried shaking the feeling, something was wrong.
I looked through the canopy above me, where sparse rays of sun shot through. That's when I started running, hoping I headed east. I hurtled past bulky trees and mangled bushes. My feet hit the packed earth and the cold air stung in my throat. I knew where I wanted to go, even though the place hurt more than the worst moments in life.
I saw the tree on the back of my lids, remembered its spindle-like limbs and dying bark. I turned a corner and skidded to a halt because before me rested the tree of life. I hugged its bark although it scratched me as I dug my nails into its sides. I cried as I hugged it. "It's been so long," I sobbed. "I buried it here so long ago, but now you're dying because of me."
I knelt at the base of the tree. My hands yanked at a bush and tore at the ground underneath. I delved deeper, further into the ground, until my bleeding hands hit the top of a small box. I shook as I pulled it from the ground, blew the dirt off and dusted it gingerly.
I hugged the box to my chest, in the same way I'd hugged the tree of life moments before. I opened teary eyes and held the box up. "I missed you . . . more than you know." My fingers flipped a latch. I saw the dirt-lined wood and slowly lifted the wooden lid.
My heart dropped as I looked at the contents. They weren't what I had hoped for, but were exactly what I'd feared. In the bottom half of the box, in an orderly little pile, lay Zeke's ashes. I poured them into my right hand, stared at them as I knelt in the dirt. I didn't care how much mud painted my white dress, or that my hair hung in ragged clumps. Tears made clean trailing on my ashen face and a few of my tears mingled with the ashes in my hand.
"I miss you," I sobbed. "For the time we had and the time we lost." I held my hand up and as I looked at the dying tree, I blew Zeke's ashes toward it. Every ash, every piece of my son, floated and then clung to the bark of the tree, restoring life. By the time all of the ashes swirled delicately into place amongst the bark, the tree of life looked anew. I stood and patted the tree. "Thank you dear friend, for trying to bring my son back. I'm sorry I asked so much of you."
I walked away, back in the direction I'd come from. The box lay empty, sprawled at the base of the magnificently vibrant tree. The whole forest felt different as I walked along. I couldn't help thinking that it reminded me of a healing soul.
I woke up after that. The Hippie and her friend had gone through half the bag of popsicles. The Scribe had written a very long blog and the babies still slept.
"Are you okay, mom?" The Hippie asked.
"I think so," I said, but I felt cold and achy all over. "I just had the strangest dream."
"What was it about?" she asked.
"It was about Zeke, about me letting go of him one last time . . . about a forest that represented a healing soul."
I went to the doctor shortly after that. I don't have strep, but I have a bad sinus infection. I'm on an antibiotic and I am feeling better today. I need to get better before we leave for our cruise on Sunday. Oh and that reminds me, I wanted to tell you that I have all my blog posts pre-written for when I'm gone, and that my awesome brother will be guest blogging two of the days next week.
Do you ever have weird dreams?