While I was in Sanibel, Mark was in my dreams twice.
The first dream was short and weird. Mark and I were standing in the front yard of someone’s house. We were visiting; possibly preparing to leave. I looked up at the sky – it was twilight, the sun was preparing to set – and a single white cloud hung, suspended, but the cloud was a specific shape, sort of like a skinny oak leaf. I thought “that’s really, really odd” and then my attention was distracted for a bit, perhaps by some conversation. When I looked up again, the entire sky was covered with a sort of lattice of clouds in specific shapes, almost like a decorative doily had been laid across the atmosphere. By now it was nearly dark. In the far distance, visible between the lattice sections, was a small light growing steadily brighter…coming closer. A loud voice said something like “do not fear, you can trust, I am coming” but we knew this was not actually a good thing because the light had turned a sullen red; attack was imminent. We were so scared – throwing ourselves to the ground next to our car in the driveway.
I woke myself up.
In the second dream, I was in what I perceived to be the lower level – a basement, a lower floor – of a public place. Initially I would have said a restaurant, but upon reflection, I believe it is the basement of Fieldstone UMC, where Mark and Sarah have gone on mission trips for SPY (we’ll be visiting this church in a month – how exciting!). Anyhow, there was a TV there, on a stand, and I found I could text with Mark on the TV screen, using my phone as a keyboard. I could not see exactly what we were typing back and forth, as the words and letters spilled across the screen, but I did know Mark was giving me a hard time, laughing at me for taking so long – 7 months, Mom! – to figure it out, that I could communicate that way with him.
And then it was as though I was watching a video on my phone, one that Mark had sent me…one he had taken with his cell phone, in heaven. The video showed me what Mark was looking at – in the first moments, he even stuck his head into the frame (“hi Mom!”) before redirecting the lens. What he showed me was Steve’s dad, John, who had died in 1996, when Sarah was almost 3 and Mark was a few months old. John was in profile, looking fixedly into the distance, his curly salt & pepper hair blowing back in a breeze. I could only see his upper body; he was wearing a dark colored short-sleeved t-shirt. There was a glaring quality to the bright sunlight falling on him that indicated beach, or dock or sea. John loved to sail…I think he was at the wheel of a sailboat.
I woke up – it was 3 or 4am – to write this one down. It was incredibly vivid. I’d been talking to Steve about his Dad earlier in the day, and had even looked at his obituary on-line. So there was some sense behind his appearance in my subconscious. But it was a gift, nonetheless. To think of Mark and his granddad – the Peepaw he never really knew but was so much like – out together on a boat, was a lovely, lovely thing.