Mark’s twenty-second birthday. Our third without him here.
We’d been celebrating each year, since his passing, with a pizza party at our neighborhood pool, and that was certainly sweet and mellow. But I wanted to do something that would be a different kind of community-gathering…something that would be fun and also not too “scary” for the folks who wanted to be in touch but weren’t sure how to handle “This”…how to approach grief, a grieving family, much less their own processes.
An idea literally popped into my mind one day, about 2 weeks before his birthday, as I realized “Incredibles 2” was opening in theaters soon. We love Pixar movies, and the first “Incredibles” movie was a family favorite. Could we figure out a way to watch this new one, on his birthday, with a crowd?
Three dreams to share. The first is, once again, from my beautiful friend Maryann; the second two are mine.
In Maryann’s dream, which was several months ago, she found herself at my house, on the bedroom level. “You and Mark were both working, doing something separately in your house. I could hear you both moving around wherever you were. I talked to Mark, but I remember hearing him more than seeing him this time. He was cheerful, hungry, and asked for 2 pieces of buttered toast. I went down to the kitchen, sliced bread, made toast and carried it on a plate back upstairs. When I returned, Mark wasn’t in sight but I could hear him moving around somewhere. I had the sense not to interrupt whatever he was doing. I put the plate of toast on the desk in his room and turned to leave.”
And she woke up.
It was very vivid and powerful but she wasn’t quite sure why. What she didn’t know is Nancy had brought us half a fresh-baked loaf of bread a day or two earlier, and it was sitting in front of our toaster. Steve and Sarah had sliced off and enjoyed a few pieces of toast from it.