More frequently

I dreamed, Sunday morning, in those dosing moments waiting. Frank and I had planned on going to go out for breakfast, and he got to the bathroom first. I stayed in bed, warm and lazy with my kitty-boy attacking my feet, and dreamed.

In the dream, we were still anticipating breakfast, but Frank and I were outside by the fire-pit. He had a huge black eye, and wouldn’t tell me how he got it. I was so angry with him. The man is ever hurting himself in my absence, because he never knows when enough is enough. It’s like having a little kid who just wants to do and do and do and doesn’t quite know his limits.

And again, in this dreaming, Chris was there. Only I could see him. Silent. I’ve yet to get a word out of him in all the dreams I’ve had. At first, he was the exuberant Chris he’d been shortly before he died, smiling and showing me his leg made whole. He’s gotten less and less exuberant, now only nodding and showing me, with his eyes, the words that won’t work. He did it again, looking at me with those blue, blue eyes, and then his dad, shaking his head and smiling that almost-smile.

He was many people, my son. Goofy and talkative, silent and contemplative, sweet and somewhere in between. I think he was someone different, depending upon who he was with. I’ll never know all his facets. I don’t have to in order to love them all.

I saw a ghost-whisperer guy on TV who said the newly departed have to learn how to communicate all over again. Maybe that’s why he’s silent in my dreams. Or maybe words, between us, were never really necessary. I always knew what was going on in him. Always. Those weeks leading up to his death, I knew no matter what he said, something was wrong, very wrong. I knew, when he was happy and living on his own, there was something he was not saying. I wrestled with the over-protective mother desperate to bring him home, make the world go away. I told her she had to let him be, had to let him figure it out, had to let him grow up. Putting those fears into words felt too much like anticipating doom, so I didn’t. I encouraged him, reasoned with him when things weren’t working out the way he thought. I knew, and even told him, many of the things happening were self-fulfilling prophecy. I wanted it to be a string of bad luck. He did too.

I woke up angry with Frank for not telling me how he got a black eye. It couldn’t be helped. Reason and logic hold little sway in the morning hours when I’m still slightly groggy and haven’t had my breakfast. The Chris in my dream lingered. I swear I felt him there. His quiet presence. His gentle strength. The Chris I remember best and most often. Silence wasn’t always a bad thing, between us. He was one of the few people in the world I could simply be with and feel no compulsion to speak, to entertain. I miss that most of all, I think. Maybe he does too. Maybe that’s why, in dreams, he never speaks.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “More frequently

  1. So beautiful it made me cry.

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  2. Beautiful, Terri. I could feel the bond between you two. One that is still there, just in a different way. ❤

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  3. ((((((((((((((((Terri))))))))))))) Love you.

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  4. Terri, pardon me if I indulge in some internet dream interpretation. (I may end up regretting this…)

    I wouldn’t ever disregard the possibility of dreams being a message from the hereafter, but I also think that in many cases dreams help us process our internal struggles in the here-and-now. Sometimes, they can even do both at the same time.

    Just as you say, silence is often a good thing, but is it possible you are struggling with some anger toward Chris for his silence in the weeks leading up to his death? You’ve mentioned this silence in other posts, as well as the regret you feel toward it.

    Maybe in the dream, you are projecting your anger toward Chris onto Frank, because it’s easier to get angry with Frank than letting any part of yourself be angry with the son you lost. Maybe this is what Chris is trying to tell you, too: that along with all the other emotions you’ve suffered, you need to provide a place – a place of truth and dignity – for your anger.

    If this is helpful, then keep it. If not, delete it. And please accept my apologies in advance, if anything I’ve written upsets you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Wow. That made my heart stop just a wee bit. You are right, of course. I am angry with Chris for his silence, for not saying what he should have and saved his life in the process. I acknowledge this anger, though it does make me feel bad. And I can also see where I put that anger on Frank, because he’s safest.
      I’m also angry at my own silence, if I’m being perfectly honest. I knew, Karin. I. Knew. Not that he’d do heroin again. That, I never suspected. But even during those months he seemed so happy and carefree and finally ready to tackle the world, I knew he wasn’t. I knew he was heading for a crash. I knew we weren’t out of the woods. And I stayed silent. I was so afraid of making my fears his reality that I didn’t say a thing. And part of me knows that Chris knew I knew, and maybe he was waiting for me to say something so he could, or so that he could rebel and prove me wrong. That’s taking on a lot of responsibility probably not mine to claim. I am aware that there was no right or wrong way to act or react to this situation. There was ever and always crossing our fingers and hoping, this time, things got better for real.
      Thank you for this.

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  5. Nancy Reynolds

    I don’t mention things to my children that would make their lives better, in my opinion, because I want them to learn from their mistakes. Because I don’t want to nag about things they already know: Boy’s weight, Boo’s rarely shaved legs, Girl’s hair. I’ve mentioned them once or twice, just seeing me should remind them to clean up, shape up be good. Moms don’t want to be ignored. Don’t want to nag, either and sound like my alzheimer-ridden mother. Its a fine line we walk.

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  6. Such a thoughtful piece, Terri. It begs the imagination to understand. Yet, in fact, we do comprehend, mostly. So thoughtful.

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