Okay, FINE, I never wake up in a beautiful mood.
Some people already know this about me, but for those of you readers, all four of you, who might not, I will inform you. I have weird, weird dreams. All the time. Every night. Sometimes I can remember them, sometimes I can't. And sometimes, people die in my dreams. And I wish that wouldn't happen, I really do. Because, on a few occasions, I've seen a few things I wish I wouldn't have. Don't bother asking, I'm not going to tell you if you've died in my dreams lately. And in general, most of you are probably safe. Don't let me worry you.
I guess all this is to say that, at times, I sense things that I shouldn't be able to know either in my dreams or out. Or I see people I shouldn't see. In general, I don't talk about this stuff very often because I feel like it sounds absolutely ridiculous. But I'm not going to pretend this doesn't happen to me--it does, and it always has. As a kid, I was absolutely fascinated with the idea of ESP and clairvoyance, but the first time I experienced something similar to it for real, I wished it didn't exist. I wish it would go away all the time.
All this is to say that this morning I woke up crying. And sadly, this isn't really a rare occasion for me. Ask my poor husband who woke up to me sobbing in my sleep a month ago. And I couldn't even tell him why for days. My dreams are painful sometimes, and that's okay, I can accept it. Fine. But most of the time, I wake up to realize what I've dreamed hasn't happened-and I am so thankful. But this morning that wasn't the case.
Months ago, a friend of mine was killed in an accident. And even though we hadn't spoken in a while, it really shook my world around. And it still does. She was one of my very favorite people in this world. On occasion, I see her in my dreams. Sometimes she's happy, sometimes she's not, but every time I wake up, it's the same result: I miss her so very much. Death, I always thought, made sense in my head. But now that I'm older, it makes less and less sense the more that I experience it. It is very difficult to realize I can't just pick up the phone and call her to check in any longer. It hurts to know she's not coming back and we will never dance jigs together anywhere ever again or tell stupid stories or laugh over completely inappropriate things in completely inappropriate situations. Even though we weren't talking for a while before she was gone, there was always the possibility that we'd repair our friendship. And I dreamed about her before she was gone--that one day we'd be part of each other's lives again like we used to be--not knowing that we'd actually never get the chance. I hoped that we all (I have a tight-knit group of girl friends from high school that she was part of) would one day sit down and hang out again. And the way things were left, it seemed as though they might have actually been heading there. At any rate, her absence is really hard to swallow. Really hard. And this morning has been particularly difficult because I feel like there's something she wants to say, but I'm not getting it just yet. I'm sure in time, if she keeps trying, I'll hear her loud and clear.
I hope you all don't think I'm a crazy, but all this is really weighing heavily on my heart today. Death isn't any joke--and every day, every single day, I think about just how fragile life is. It's amazingly and beautifully fragile. We can give life so very easily, without even intending to, and it can be gone in a blink. In the last years, I feel like I've seen that quite a few times and have grown to respect it much more than I used to. For instance, footage of 9/11 was on tv a week or so ago, and I haven't really watched that since it happened. And when it happened, I was a whole 15 years old. Our school had us glued to the tv footage of the event all day long--many schools did with their students.
Actually, everyone I know my age watched what was happening on TV in school that day. My mother and I had a conversation regarding my memory of this time not too long ago, and she is still angry that the school had us watching the events unfold. I get where she's coming from. It didn't hit me then, but we were sitting there watching people die. And for some of us, it was possible that some of those people dying were people we knew. We were watching as the towers fell. And honestly, at 15, I didn't really understand what was going on. I knew my mother was actually flying with United (she's a flight attendant) that day. I knew it was actually pretty possible for her to be on one of those hijacked flights--and yet--at the same time--I remember KNOWING that she was okay. And because of that, I felt fine. I don't think I even kind of grasped the magnitude of the loss of life when I was 15. Not at all. So when I watched the footage of the event the other evening, I was completely stunned. Speechless. I can't believe that I saw that live as it was happening--and that I was so numb when, in general, I was a pretty intuitive and intelligent teenager. I really just didn't understand what it meant to lose life--whether or not that life was overtly connected to my own.
But now that I do, things we studied in Social Studies and History courses when I was in high school look a whole lot different to me. I've lost a few important people in my short time here, and I know I'll lose more. And it will hurt an hurt and hurt again. And I'll continue with these horrific dreams in my head until the stop. If they stop. Which would be great any day now.
Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I respect life. I respect it in all of it forms, and I don't think the loss of life, no matter whose it is, is a reason to celebrate. And today, today I am thinking of my dear friend and her family and her big beautiful smile. And I'm thankful that I still see her once in a while, even if it does hurt when I do. I'm lucky to be here and I know that. I always knew that--even at 15, when I couldn't quite grasp the events we studied in school or the events going on in the world I was living in.
Death matters. It can change everything.