July 3, 2004

// July 14th, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

As we came into July I found myself particularly more weepy. In the past few weeks I’ve had more dreams with Steve in them, but most evaporate as I wake up. All I’m left with is a disembodied afterimage tickling my mind.
Last week I has a long visit with my beautiful son as I slept. He looked so healthy and vibrant. We chatted for what felt like hours but all I can recall him saying is something like, “Heaven is not what you think it is, Mom.” Strange, considering my beliefs.

I had another dream a few nights ago while Nicholas was visiting. Earlier that day Nic and I had gone through Steve’s clothes that I have packed away in my closet. We were looking for something that Nic could have that had belonged to his dad. The clothes are all too big for him so it doesn’t make much sense to give him a shirt or jacket yet. As we were going through the third bag we came across Steve’s head covers. After the surgery to remove the infection from his scalp Steve always wore something on his head to cover the bandages. His baseball caps wouldn’t fit over the bandages so he wore stocking caps or a “Do Rag” (a cross between a bandanna and a skull-cap) to help minimize the stares from strangers. Nic saw a black Do-Rag with white skulls on it and snatched it up saying, “This is what I want!” I tied it onto his head and he didn’t take it off for two days!
In my dream that night Steve and I were driving through town in my van. I knew that he had been dead for nearly a year but I wasn’t surprised to see him there. He looked over at me and said in a mock-hurt tone, “Mom, are you giving my stuff away?” I said, “Well, yeah. You were dead.” He sort of shook his head like I should have realized he would be back. I told Nick and Amy about the dream and they say he’s telling me not to get rid of his stuff yet… but they both agree that the Do Rag for Nic is OK.

In most of my dreams Steve looks so healthy and I wake up with that picture of him in my head instead of the image of him emaciated and chewed up by infirmity.

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