Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Moment with Marcie

I have missed her, though she has been in my dreams, alive and well, her body no longer infirm and her countenance unmarred by the fear and pain the gnawing of cancer inflicted on her. Sometimes, her appearance has been fantastical and her demeanor absolutely supportive.

But those have not been the most important visits. Of late, there have been few because of how little I sleep. I stay awake into the wee hours and plan and work, then wake and work at the school district. Sometimes, I seek out a little company and stay out late instead of in.

Last night, I dreamed of her for the first time in a long time. Perhaps it was because my work is beginning, or perhaps because my life is on the verge of changing wildly yet again. But what stuck out was how very present she seemed and how engaged. We had a strong, real conversation.

It's still haunting me.

I walked into a garden and saw a Buddhist treasure tower. Red and white, with intricate inlays and detailed carving, I stood near it and felt my awareness slowly open. I was dreaming.

"I'm in the Japanese Friendship Garden," I said, smiling. "I can stay as long as I want. It's my dream, and the garden can be as big as I want it to be."

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end a moment as I touched a beautiful pink Camellia. I listened to the wind in the trees. I felt a lump in my throat as I realized that I would usually be stealing bloom for her at this point.

"Of course you would," her familiar and smiling, mischievous voice rang out.

I knew I was dreaming. I bit my lip and my eyes burned. I wfelt tears in my sleep, I thought.

"Oh, my god, would you buck up?" she said, much closer now.

I turned and nearly ran into her. I was startled and stepped back, but she stepped in and grabbed my hands, squeezing them. I was hugging her and felt a wave of relief as her smell and the feel of her skin sank into me with a familiarity I do not believe a simple memory could summon.

"Ooookay," she said, impatience in her tone. "Okay, honey. I know you love me. I'm here now. Are you okay?"

I looked into her eyes and saw so many little details in them. The greenish and white flecks, some large and distinct, others so familiar they were distinctive to me alone, likely. I nodded.

"Well, I need you to listen to me, honey," she said. nodding. Her hands lifted mine and lowered them.

I nodded. "Okay, honey," I said, wondering what my unconscious had to say to me now.

"Frank!" she said, her eyes hardening and widening a bit. "Don't you do that. You need to listen to me and hear me out. Don't dismiss me like that."

I looked at her and she turned her head askance a bit.

"I didn't say anything," I offered.

Her eyes narrowed a little. "You don't have to say anything. I don't have to hear anything. I know what you are thinking, and I can't tell you what to think, but you would probably do well to just hear me out."

I nodded and bit my lip, turning my head a bit and squinting. I felt tears again and blinked. "I'm sorry," I said. "I miss you."

Usually, the Marcie in my dreams would pulle me into her arms and hug me, whispering and soothing me. But this time, she broke down with me and her tears flowed.

"Oh, honey," she said, her voice almost disappearing in the high range. "I know. I miss you too, sweetie. I worry about you so much."

I took her in my arms, and I held her, and she buried her head in my neck again, for the first time since she had died, really. She kissed me and we sat until quiet returned.

I felt her warmth and smelled her hair again. My heart slowed. "I don't know what to think," I said.

She looked up and she shook her head. "You agonize so much," she said. "Sometimes you think I am your thoughts, sometimes I am my spirit, sometimes it is your memories. Do you want to know?"

I bit my lip and remembered the tears and the dreams and the visits and the strength she gave me, and then I looked down, unsure.

She turned her head and looked stern. I suddenly understood that I would not know unless I told her I wanted to.

"Yes," I said. "I want to know."

She smiled and her eyes watered then teared as she replied breathlessly, "Okay."

And when I had held her a little while, afraid of what i would learn, she began.

I cannot continue tonight. Tomorrow, I promise. It was a long visit.