35: The Dream

35: The Dream

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

The Dream

There is a fine line between dreams and reality, it’s up to you to draw it.

~B. Quilliam

As we sat together, my head on his shoulder and his arm around me, I tried not to think about how short our time together would be and how long it would be until I would see him again. He had the most beautiful smile and anyone looking into his blue eyes could see the love and compassion there. I reached up and touched his face, his neck and then slowly slid my hand away.

I opened my eyes just a bit and could see that a new day had arrived. Reluctantly, I let my dream drift away and rolled from my bed. Tears ran down my cheeks as I faced the prospect of another day without my son. Each night I went to bed eager to enter the dream state, the spirit realm where all was right. Each morning I was thrown from paradise and back into the material world. It was routine for me to greet the morning with tears.

The coffeemaker gurgled and hissed, mirroring my mood. I poured a cup and headed for my computer. Time to read the news and lose myself in the virtual world. I propped my chin on my left palm as I scanned the screen.

Suddenly, a soft fragrance caught my attention and immediately it hit me. It was Jay’s aftershave. I sniffed my palm like a bloodhound. Glenn, my husband, doesn’t wear aftershave so it couldn’t have been his. I was certain it was Jay’s. How did it get on my hand? Was it my imagination? About that time I heard my husband shuffling into the kitchen.

“Glenn, come here a minute,” I called.

He came into the room all sleepy-eyed, hair standing on end.

“Smell this.” I lifted my palm toward his nose.

He looked at me skeptically as if he thought I was trying to trick him before his senses were fully awake.

“Smell it! Just tell me what you smell.”

He cautiously sniffed my hand.

“It smells like aftershave,” he offered.

“It’s Jay’s aftershave and I have no idea how it got on my hand.”

“It’s aftershave all right but I’m not sure I remember what Jay’s aftershave smelled like.” He shuffled back to the kitchen in search of his breakfast. He was used to my insanity and my signs.

“Well, I remember Jay’s aftershave and that is what I smell.” I stared blankly at the computer screen.

And then I remembered my dream of being with Jay. I remembered touching his face and running my hand down his neck. I looked at my left hand and realized that I had touched my son that morning — that the spirit world I visited each night is as real as the cursed reality I live in each day. A bolt of exhilaration ran through me — I had truly been with my son!

~Marilyn Ellis Futrell

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