It has been nearly 7 months since I have blogged. I started my new official blog here at wordpress.com on New Year’s day 2009 fully intending to keep it up. I’ve even checked in on it a few times and on the CaringBridge site as well. But no blogging. I’ve had thoughts, “Oh, I should blog about this,” to no avail. This afternoon however, I had a vivid dream about Jared. It was a strange dream, disturbing and lovely all at once. I was napping with Noah and I woke up suddenly with the dream in the forefront of my mind. I knew it meant something and that I needed to write something down right away. So I snuck downstairs and grabbed a notebook and pen…then I put the notebook and pen down and grabbed my laptop…I needed to write fast and I got the sense that whatever I wrote would become a blog post. Miraculously, both boys continued sleeping for about 40 more minutes so I could get all my thoughts down. That was indeed a miracle. Initially, I intended to record the dream and then think about it later, but as I wrote, I realized that I was moving through some more grieving and other processing so I ended up recording and interpreting all at once.
In the first part of the dream, Jared was clearly dying, and he said some really mean things to me. They were the kind of things that I could rationalize in my head because I knew about how strange things happen to people when they die. For example, I told him that I loved him very much, but he said I was speaking too loudly and so he asked me to be quiet. Then he got really angry with me. And I don’t remember the specifics, but he said hurtful things. Then he lost consciousness and I was somewhere else, telling another person in the dream about what had just happened. Then, the dream breaks up again and fast forwards to another scene. Here I walk into a room and Jared is sitting at the table with some people. I knew who they were but I can’t remember them now, they were either family or really close friends (whoever it was, they were clearly fans of HP like Jared and could not believe that he had met him and seen a movie shoot). That’s the story Jared was trying to tell to the people at the table: how he met the actor that plays Harry Potter. It’s a story that I know isn’t true in real life, but in the dream, I recognized it as true, and knew it quite well myself. He was clearly still very sick in this part of the dream, just rebounding a bit. He was having a hard time telling the story, remembering. So I sat down next to him and we had this wonderful sharing of the story together. I would let him tell what he could and then I would fill in the details that he couldn’t remember or was too tired to speak. I felt so very close to him, like being with him in that moment, loving him, was effortless. That’s how it was the whole time he was sick. Loving him was effortless. I just did it, my whole being knew how. Everything that was hard about loving another person in marriage, all the things you get mad about or that annoy you, all of that disappeared. None of it mattered anymore and it felt so wonderful to just love someone. It was as if we had been married for 50 years even though it was barely 5.
I saw the sixth Harry Potter movie this past weekend. Jared and I saw the 5th one the summer before he died. We saw a bunch of movies that summer. He loved movies and a lot of our favorites were having new episodes come out: Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Ocean’s 13, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Harry Potter 5. Who knew that Harry Potter would force me to continue to work through my grieving? As silly as it sounds, Harry Potter was something we shared. When Jared came to visit me in Guatemala in 2002, he brought me the first two HP books. He loved them, took such enjoyment in the delightful storytelling, the characters, the fantastic ideas. So I started reading them, and I loved them. Before each new book came out, we each took a turn reading the previous one and then would buy the newest one and fly through it as fast as we could. In Summer of 2005 we went to Colorado for a family vacation the day after the Half-Blood Prince came out and the first thing we did when we got there was to find a Barnes and Nobles and buy it. When the last one came out, he read it first in the hospital and then I read it. This afternoon, as the boys were finishing a video before naptime, all of the sudden, I really wanted the last book. I had no idea why, but I got up and went to the bookshelf where I have the whole series, ready to pull it off and start reading right then and there. It was this strange comfort that I was seeking, an inexplicable urge and I couldn’t even pinpoint it until after I had the dream. The book isn’t on my shelf. I lent it to a teacher friend at school at the end of the year. I was disappointed, but if I had found it, I’m sure I never would have napped and I never would have had this dream and never would have been able to process this.
This Spring, tried dating. Well, e-dating. It has been good and interesting and strange. I feel like I need to move on with my life in this way. I have young kids, I am young, I want a partner, someone to share life and dreams with, a family with a mom and a dad. Someone to help me raise the two boys I already have. Somebody to have more children with! And having that with Jared, what I had originally intended, can no longer be. What I have discovered is that meeting someone else, building a new relationship, with work and life and two children, oh and my experiences over the last couple of years, is no walk in the park. I want easy. I don’t know if that’s me being selfish or me being realistic…that easy is all I can handle with the energy I have leftover after being a working, single mom to two little boys. As I have been dating, I am remembering how much energy it takes to get to know a new person. It’s fun and exciting and that helps but, often I find myself thinking that I wish that Jared were around, purely so I would have the comfort of being at that place where I just really know someone again. I knew Jared for almost 12 years and we were married for nearly 5. That’s a lot of time to get comfortable with someone, and even then, it was a process that was not always easy. What I realized today as I reflect back on me wanting to pull that book off the shelf is that what I’ve been hoping for was to find an old book, a comfortable person, love that feels familiar and effortless…does sound beautiful doesn’t it? Jared and I experienced a kind of Grace in the days and months of his illness that I can’t explain. He knew it and I knew it. It’s hard to experience that and then to have to start all over. Dating is fun and nice but can also be a little messy and uncomfortable and I’m trying to figure out if it’s because I have totally unrealistic expectations (that I only recognized recently) and need to readjust. Maybe it’s messy because I’m not ready to date yet. Maybe I should consider that too…
But I do believe in a God that is capable of more than I could ask or even imagine, a God of restoration and redemption. I also believe that my life is a part of something bigger than just me, and I want to be open to whatever that is.
So, I continue to share my story, our story, with those of you still following, hoping that we can all continue to learn together and that you will continue to lift me and us up in prayer. Moving on is a process too, not a discrete moment.
I have lots to share about the boys too. Summer has been good so far. Caleb and Noah are doing all kinds of growing and I will blog about them next time and figure out how to post some pictures to my blog as well as a link to my Picasa web albums.