The dying child within

Last night I had the worst nightmare I think I’ve ever had. For whatever reasons, Elise, Maly, possibly Mara (I can’t remember) and I were walking westbound on FM 1094. Elise and I were walking in the right lane, with traffic. Maly was walking in the left lane, against traffic. Although, there was no traffic. I yelled across the highway to Maly to get on the same side of the road as us. I don’t know where we were going or why we were walking on a farm market road.

Maly was pushing something. It was a nondescript toy of some such — maybe a wagon, a stroller or a cart or buggy. Out of nowhere and in the bat of any eye, an 18-wheeler came barreling down the highway at breakneck speed. One second it was calm and quiet and the only sound was me, yelling to my daughter to come get on the right side of the road with me. And then there was the sound of an 18-wheeler breaking the local sound barrier.

And just like that, Maly was gone. There was no sound beyond the roaring engine, the wind and the energy transferring from 18 wheels to the asphalt. There was no impact.

She was completely gone. It’s like she’d never existed. She was swept away in that same bat of an eye. No closure. No proof that an accident had happened. She just ceased to exist.

It took me a moment or two in my dream for my brain to process what I’d just witnessed. And at that point, I was alone. Elise was still there in the periphery, but she wasn’t present in the surreal fatality I’d just endured.

I was absolutely alone. I started screaming, “OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD!” over and over and over again.

I was completely alone. It was just me and absolutely nothing.

I forced myself to wake up. My head was drenched in sweat. It was somewhere around 3 a.m. I think I closed my eyes again because I was afraid to face the notion that my dream might’ve been real and I’d remember that my daughter didn’t exist in the physical world.

Reality quickly came over me, and my conscious comforted me in acknowledging that everything was, in fact, okay. Maly was okay and sleeping silently in her bedroom.

I got up and stood at the foot of Elise’s and my bed. I let my mind tell me again that everything was okay.

I went back to bed. I didn’t go check on Maly. I don’t know why I didn’t go check on Maly. I think my heart knew and told me that everything was okay, and won over my conscious that wanted me to worry.

Later this afternoon, I decided to see if it meant anything to have a dream about a child dying. Most of what I found indicates that it could be related to a serious quarrel or difference with the spouse or partner, because the child is a reflection of the both. Presently, that didn’t hold true for me. Another suggested that the dream might be indicative of one’s inner child dying. This might be true of me now.

I think it’s a calling to save him. My inner child.

I called Elise’s cell phone this evening. Before answering, Elise gave the phone to Maly. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to Maly on the phone. I’d venture to guess a year’s gone by already. I had an actual, coherent conversation with her tonight on the phone. She sounds so much older now. She’s growing up.

Anyway, last night’s dream was the absolute worst. Literally a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s a reminder to continuously strengthen the bond with my child, and with my child within.

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