♪Dream- dream, 🎜dream, dream, dream…♫

For the first time since Kim passed, I had a dream in which she was a major player, animated, and talking. It was the strangest dream, and did not leave me feeling relieved, or happy, or even satisfied. And it was the darnedest strange dream… Jessica had put one of those barn doors in her house – oddly with windows and a normal swing door on it, complete with curtains and flower pots – and some guys I worked with twenty years ago were telling me about it at Home Depot. I went over to see it, and, sliding it open, there was Kim. Oddly, she was both as she was when we were first married, and simultaneously as she was before her diagnosis. I recall that we spoke, but I don’t recall what she said. I also recall knowing that we were separated.

Like I said: strange. (The door on the sliding door opened, too…)

Today, driving out of the neighborhood to pick up some things for today’s dinner reminded me so much of all the trips to take Kim to her chemo appointments. Bright, blue sky punctuated with nice, fluffy white clouds. It was a difficult day.


As I go through the things in the house trying to make order out of what’s there, I continuously come across things Kim has created or bought to create things with. Kim was so talented. She could draw, she loved to paint, she loved crafting and coloring.

This wasn’t something that she had started when we were married, but before – there are crafts she made long before we were married at her dad’s house.

I remember the first full launch I did for Ford- the 1992 Ranger in Edison, New Jersey. It was the first time we’d be apart for more than a day. It was not easy on either one of its, but I always thought it was easier on me. We had Jeanette by then and I think Kim had returned to work by then. Kim worked midnights, so she had to drop Jeanette off with my mom in the afternoon, then pick her up in the morning. Somewhere in there, she had to get some rest.

Me? I’d go to work, return to the hotel, lather, rinse, repeat until every other weekend when I’d get to fly home. Kim would drop me off and pick me up at the airport. The hotel I stayed at had “points” with which we could get prizes. I spent so much time there that we were able to get a few things – a play tent for Jeanette (which HER daughter now plays with!), a stereo for Kim (it has been retired by mp3s, but still works and is still in the basement), a juicer for the kitchen (which was GREAT, but died decades ago). With the overtime, I was able to buy Kim something that would fuel her crafting passions for her remaining life: a New Home Memory Craft sewing machine that would do all kinds of stitches as well as embroider – and scan in her own embroidery designs! I honestly don’t remember whether Kim had wanted it, or if it was something I came upon myself, but she loved that machine. One of the first things she made was a little pink and grey jumpsuit for Jeannette on which she embroidered a bunny with a basket of flowers. For Halloween, she made a cute costume for Jeanette that is still around – I think each of the kids wore it for at least one Halloween, and it is still in the basement. I think our granddaughter may even have worn it.

A couple of years ago, that machine broke down for the last time – the repair shop couldn’t get parts for it anymore. She had already bought a bigger machine that, frankly, we couldn’t afford, but I wouldn’t let her take it back (and, lo and behold: we afforded it). The new machine could do bigger things, and you could put patterns to embroider on with via flash drives, but the only way to design your own was through some VERY expensive commercial software, or some very confusing open-source software. We kept the New Home – I figured I’d get the time to open it up and troubleshoot the board and maybe get it going again. It still sits waiting for me to find that time. Sigh…

Kim had made a beautiful quilt depicting The Last Supper on the new machine – she had just finished it and started on what was to be her lap quilt for cold weather chemo trips when the chemo caused her to lose feeling in her fingers and she couldn’t sew anymore. She was so proud of that quilt, and everyone who saw it raved to her about how great it was. I had promised her I would build a special frame for it that would incorporate internal lighting to show it off. Of course she passed a month or so after finishing it. I’m not in any hurry to make the frame – handling the quilt is emotionally painful to me – but I will get it done as soon as I clean all the extraneous crap out of the garage and have access to the woodworking equipment therein. I really need to get a new shed built.

Her craft room and the basement are full of so many half-done projects that will never be completed. So many supplies for new projects that will not be started…

Are all lives left so unfinished? When people die of old age, do they leave so much unfinished behind? Or is it only those who go too young?

Another dream, not mine

Yesterday’s dream called to mind a dream related to me by Jillian shortly after Kim had passed, and before I had started this blog. She had this dream very close to Kim’s passing – a day or two afterward. It’s another dream that seems drenched in symbolism, but from which I cannot divine any meaning. I’ll have to consult with Jillian to add any missed detail, but this is what I remember from what she told me of it.

Kim, as she was on our wedding day, is standing out in the water – a lake, or the ocean. I am standing on the beach, frantically calling to her to come out of the water, to come to me on the shore. The version of Kim in the water does not appear to hear or notice me.

Kim, as she was in current times is standing next to me on the shore, calling out “I’m here! I’m here!”, but I either don’t hear her or I am ignoring her, continuing to call out to the version of Kim standing in the water.

That’s it, or, at least, that’s what I remember of what Jillian told me.

Epilogue: I guess how I remembered what she told me is more apt that what I remembered. I asked Jillian to tell me the dream again. Here is what she said….

Kim and I are on the shore, both as we were at our wedding; both dressed in our wedding clothes. I’m praising Kim, the bride, for how beautiful she is. There is another Kim next to me – Jillian doesn’t recall if she’s another young Kim, or Kim as she was in current times – Jillian was “seeing” through her eyes. This Kim is saying “Hello! I’m right here…”

Definitely an odd dream, whichever version I “remember.” The original memory seems more Freudian now, in light of this correction. Since I do spend a lot of time admiring our wedding pictures – she really was a very beautiful woman throughout her life – Jillian’s dream could be a reminder that Kim is always with me? Don’t know.

To sleep, perchance to dream…

I have commented before how I had not had a single dream (which I remembered after waking) of Kim, or with Kim in it. That changed last night, and I still, hours after waking, remember it with crystal clarity.

It was strange.

I’m at mass at St. Mel’s in Dearborn Heights – a church long closed, at which I haven’t attended Mass in probably 30 years, but which was our parish as I was growing up.

The church is full, as it always was in my youth. It is also configured as it was in my youth. I’m seated near the front on St. Joseph’s side (south side of the church). I get up to go use the bathroom in the crying room at the main entrance to the church. As I approach the vestibule where the door to the crying room is, I see Kim as she was before her diagnosis, in the last pew on Mary’s side. She is wearing the lightweight denim shirt she often wore, one of her favorites. She is not facing the altar but facing the glass of the crying room. The crying room is dark so the glass perfectly reflects what is behind her; the ongoing mass. She is expressionless and does not seem to notice me, and does not interact with me. I don’t try to get her attention; I just note her presence and continue on my way.

As I approach the door to the crying room, I see the room is dark, and the impression I get is that it is packed – literally packed – with no spare room. What looks like a rolled and folded newspaper or cloth is pressed against the glass in the door, but doesn’t cover the entire glass. I still see nothing but a battleship grey around the item in the window.

I turn around and start up the aisle on the south side of the church to get to the bathroom in the church hall. I look down to see I’m dressed in tan cargo shorts with my black Bulliet boots – ridiculous! As I enter the hall, there are four old ladies. Three are participating in the mass, while one is talking loudly about something else – either church politics or politics in general, I don’t recall which, but I do recall it being politics. There are still Christmas decorations hanging from the middle of the ceiling- light pink shiny garlands with large, red, shiny glass balls. As I’m approaching the point about where the kitchen is, one of these decorations slides across the floor and stops just before it gets to my path. I look up and see someone race-walking me to the men’s room. We arrive at the same time, and suddenly the hall has another hall behind it, and there is junk everywhere, among them a self-standing urinal. I recognize the man as a short, skinny man who I worked with at Ford until he retired. Unfortunately, I don’t recall his name, but his face was clear, and I know who he is – to the best of my knowledge, he had never set foot in St. Mel’s. I told him to take the room, I’ll go to the one at the north entrance to the church, near the sacristy. He said “No, that one is wrecked. Use this one – I’ll just use this urinal,” to which I reply “that’s ok, that’s all I need to do.” He goes into the bathroom, and I notice another men’s room in the new hall behind the existing hall. Being self-conscious about the ladies in the hall, I begin making my way through the stuff all over the floor – equipment of various types – toward this new room. That’s when I woke up.


Today’s verse in the morning offering from the Catholic Company is: “At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Do dreams have meaning? I was told when you dream of someone who has passed, it means they need prayer (I pray for Kim’s soul every day, nonetheless). Is Kim still only seeing the face of God as if through a mirror, or is she signaling that I should be focusing more on the holy souls trapped in purgatory – represented by those packed into the crying room? Or does this dream mean something different altogether, or nothing at all?

I certainly don’t have the answer. I’ll continue to pray for both. And I’ll hope for better, sweeter dreams than this…