I think it’s because I was watching this movie called “Endings, Beginnings” and although I didn’t watch the whole thing because I don’t even know why exactly but it freaked me out a little bit emotionally I guess. I saw myself in the main character at times when I was that age and something about her physically reminded me of your Katie and although the story line really had nothing in common with anything we went through as a family I just felt like this movie kept talking to me and it was talking to me about you. I don’t know. I’m crazy. I know all of this sounds crazy but what exactly isn’t crazy? I would like someone to prove that to me and don’t say “Math” because math is crazy.
Anyhow, I fell asleep wondering, yet again, would you have turned the corner if you had lived just one or two more years? Would you have. Because when I was 22 I was not ready to turn the corner and I did plenty of ridiculous and thoughtless things and I, too, was a ‘shoot from the hip’ kind of person and maybe you got that from me. I don’t know but i wonder. Would you have turned the corner and not done stupid shit when you started to “have fun” with friends? I ask but honestly It doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters anymore. Just keep a little soul ’cause nothing really matters anymore. Honey, keep a little soul…it doesn’t matter. Does it.
I fell asleep reminding myself that you are here. You are in the spaces in between what I can see and I talk to you all the time and when I’m awake talking to you I can imagine what you would respond but when you visit me in my dreams things are different. Is it me imagining what you would say or is it you? Or is it both at the same time because are we ever really separated. Me, you, Alec. Are we? I don’t think so but I’m crazy so there’s that.
You were about 12 in my dream. You were running around outside. Maybe you were about 10. You were really happy with your hair long and moppy the way you had it in middle school. You were sweaty when you came inside and we were talking but I don’t remember what we were talking about. I remember your smiling face and I could smell you and feel that dampness of sweat on your face. At some point you got serious and I saw that look in your eye where the gentleness of your smile ran away. You were serious. And then it’s over. My eyes are open. Like a pan across the face.
I wake up in tears every time you visit in my dreams because I can smell you were there and I miss that. What I wouldn’t give. NO. What an amazing gift I was given. I got to watch you grow. You loved so intensely. You still do. I saw you so clearly in my dream and I could hear your voice saying “Mom” again and I could smell your sweaty skin and you were there with me. In the spaces in between the things I can see. And I could feel you right there. With me.
You are my first baby. My Andrew-baby. *You’re my second Mama. My Mama*
“All the snow has turned into water Christmas days have come and gone Broken toys and faded colors Are all that’s left to linger on I hate graveyards and old pawn shops For they always bring me tears I can’t forgive the way they rob me Of my childhood souvenirs” ~ John Prine ‘Souvenirs’
Last night I heard the news of John Prine being hospitalized with this hideous virus and I have to admit that at first I almost felt nothing. Numb. After the death of my beautiful Andrew I’ve felt constant pain and sorrow and it seems as though I now have a delayed reaction to tragedy. I realize John has a chance at recovery and I pray to the universe for a balance to his health but the news of his hospitalization awoke in me another flood of emotions which started as numbness but then took over me like a tsunami and there I was. Sitting in a pool of tears. Spitting nails at life again knowing that this is just the way this cookie crumbles and it will continue to crumble and crumble. I’m not made for this world. I feel too much. No one should feel all of this.
I am sick of the suffering. I am sick of the sadness. I am tired. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. But of all the things I am so sick of, John Prine had the gift of being able to put my feelings into words and music and he did it long before I knew I was going to feel this way. I’m sick of having my childhood souvenirs being robbed. I want them back.
I want to watch my sons run into the house smelling of sweet summer sweat. I want to see Andrew throw his gear down and talk a mile a minute while Alec pushes him and tries to get a word in edgewise. I want to see them running down the street like bolts of lightning. I want to be there again. Oblivious, frustrated and happy. I want to be getting popsicles for the gang in the heat of the sun. I want to hear the yells and the thunder of their feet upstairs while I make pancakes. I want my souvenirs back. I want to hear the radio playing all my favorite songs as I sit there and dream of the days to come with all the innocence and hope I once had.
Just make me an angel who flies from this old heart ’cause to believe in this livin’ is just a hard way to go.
May the universe shine it’s magnificent light over us during this pandemic. May it shows us compassion and understanding. May it bring out the best in all of us, lead some to put pen to paper and blend the words with beautiful music and may that magic help us heal our broken hearts.
“Memories they can’t be boughten…they can’t be won at carnivals for free”
We lived on Alderleaf Dr in a little neighborhood that was magical.
There weren’t that many families there with kids when we first moved in around 1994 but neighborhoods turn over and by the time both my boys were born we started to see that other families were also having kids. Needless to say, by the time Andrew and Alec were 5 and 3 they had a seemingly endless stream of built in playmates for their daily adventures. Our neighbors across the street, Steve and Nancy who became dear friends, ended up having 3 kids who added so much laughter and screaming to our little magical neighborhood. Their oldest son, John, was Andrew’s best friend and partner in Neighborhood Defense. They were a riot. Protectors and destroyers simultaneously. My fondest memories come from those days when John, Alec and Andrew would dress up in their “war gear” and save the world as they destroyed our yards. Best days ever.
Time kept moving in our little magical neighborhood and, of course, things changed. Good friends moved away, kids grew up and our little dream world of magical days became a most wonderful memory. A memory, to me, that keeps me alive and brings bittersweet joy to my heart.
My dear friend, Nancy, who was witness and participant in our magical neighborhood wrote this the other day. She had a dream and in it Andrew came to visit. Warms my heart. Heals me. Please take a minute to read: https://nancywileywriter.com/2020/03/13/the-visit/
I have a Facebook page called “The Little Gigantic Things”. Nancy’s visit from Andrew is exactly that: a little gigantic thing. It’s these little gigantic things that touch us to our core. They are the little things that become the fabric of your being and these are the things that heal you.
“Like a heartbeat…Drives you mad. In the stillness of remembering what you had. And what you lost. And what you had. And what you lost…”
~ Dreams by Stevie Nicks
Andrew was with me all night long in my dreams. I can’t remember specifics but I’m all confused again this morning. Woke up scared with the same knot in my throat and tears ready to roll. Why did you have to go? I just can’t understand it and I know I never will. How can there be a “God who loves you so much” yet takes not only your mother when you are 3 and you grow up scared and grieving but then later after you have learned to live with that grief and let your guard down a little bit and love again…and I mean actually love again…this “loving God” takes away your first born child too? I’m 52 years old. I do not believe in a “God who loves you so much…”
Here’s the kicker for me. “Oh you’ll get to see your baby in dreams. But you won’t be able to remember them. You’ll just feel like they were with you all night and there are snippets of the dream you’ll remember but you will just wake up and realize that he’s gone. It was just a dream and you can’t even remember the details”. That’s how much God loves you. No. That makes no sense. I want him back and I don’t want it to be in a dream that I can’t remember.
But that’s never going to happen so I take my dream, my memories and my shattered heart and I carry that life with me here on this floating rock in the middle (or end or beginning) of the universe and I smile through my tears after the screaming stops. I smile because for 22 years he was with me. I carried him. I nursed him. I read to him. We sang together. We talked. We held hands. We hugged. We cried. We learned. We welcomed his brother together. We fought. We disappointed each other. We forgave. We loved. We love. We will always have that because we lived. And all of that, plus so much more, is real.
Andrew came to visit me in my dreams last night and I can’t remember what happened but I don’t need to remember the dream to know that I love that kid and his presence in my life for 22 years is a gift beyond price. I thank the Universe for letting me be a part of that magnificent soul’s life here on earth.
Oh, Andrew. You’re my first baby. (Oh mama. You’re my second mama) He really did say that every time. I wonder.