Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dreaming "Austin" Dreams...

Dreams. Where do they come from? What do they mean? Are they our minds way of processing events, making heads or tails out of them? Does every dream have meaning, just a little, or none at all? I don't know.

What I do know, is that some dreams seem so real, it's actually a little crazy.

Some people swear they never dream. This is because they never remember their dreams, even immediately after waking. However, studies show we all dream, we just don't always remember. Why?... I don't know.

What I do know is that I, myself, wake up at least once a night remembering my dreams, even if it's for a fleeting moment or just bits and pieces. Sometimes my dreams are bizarre and all mixed up; I know there is no way they are real. Other times it feels as though the event took place, right then and there. It is the latter that can be unsettling, that can follow me through the day, week or month. I have, more than once, had a dream where my husband did something that really ticked me off. I wake up mad at him and find myself still mad, throughout the day, for something he really didn't even do. The poor guy, he just can't get a break, even when he's sleeping.

After Austin died, friends would tell me about dreams they had, in which Austin had a conversation with them. For the first few months, any time I dreamt about Austin, he had already died, we were simply dealing with losing him. Then, one night my dream was different. It included Austin, alive. I don't remember the specifics, I just remember him laughing. It was the laugh I was so familiar with; one so full of life. A fun chuckle, followed with an "Oh yeah. And remember when..." In life, he was always reminiscing stories and events with friends and family, always including his light-hearted laugh. That night I woke with a smile and an "Oh Austin, how I miss that laugh!" thought. When I think of that dream, the only thing I remember is the laugh, and I can still hear it.

After the "laughing" dream, I didn't have another "Austin" dream for quite some time. Then, a couple months ago, I had a different dream; one I've carried in my mind and heart. This one seemed very real, as though it actually happened. I only remember a snippet, but that snippet brings me both comfort and tears, all at the same time.

In this dream, I am driving in my car, with Austin riding in the passenger seat. He's crying a little and says "Mom, I am so sorry..." I reply, "I know you are, Bud. I know you are. Oh, I love you." And I pull him to me and kiss his head. Then, I wake up. And it felt like I had just spent a little time with him. As if I had a little closure.

Later, as I'm thinking about this dream, it feels as though it could be the closure to a text conversation Austin and I had a few weeks before his accident. He said to me, "Mom, I know you worry about me because you're my mom and it's your job. But you know, you really don't need to."

Ever since Austin's accident my mind keeps answering that text, "Yeah Austin, I did need to worry. It was my job. I miss you...." And in this dream, it's as though Austin's answering my thoughts... "I'm sorry, Mom." That's how Austin was. He wasn't afraid to say, "I'm sorry." or "I love you."

And it was my chance to tell him, "I love you," one last time.

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