14 August, 2013

Dreams Along The Mohawk

I lost a friend yesterday, and although we had not seen each for decades, it hurts. "Michael died this morning, August 13, 2013 at 10:50. It was a very peaceful departure at home with family beside him. He will be sorely missed." What follows is one of several posts I wrote that were related to him.

February 4, 2011
I had a dream the other night. Well, that's not quite right because I dream every night. We all do - about every 90-100 minutes. So we have four or five each night depending on the duration of our sleep.

What I should have said is that I remembered a dream when I woke up - when we obviously forget most of them. This one was pleasant, but I don't remember a whole lot about it. For the most part, I have just a few impressions.

It involved an old friend I haven't seen since high school but who lives only 200 miles from here. I have written about Michael before. (See: Singin' On The Brain ) Then I said he might as well live thousands of miles away - since he is in the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease.

He wasn't ill in the dream though, and my wife and I had simply stopped in to visit. He wasn't expecting me. While we waited for him to return, we chatted with his wife in the living room. As he closed the door, she shouted, "Michael, guess who's here." As he came around the corner, I was out of my chair in a flash. We recognized each other immediately even though neither of us looked in the least the way we did when we last saw each other over 46 years ago. What followed is best described as a massive bear hug with much back slapping and laughter.

I don't remember much other than that. Such are dreams. What is lingering so vividly is the sheer merriment we shared in seeing each other. It was as if we were carefree teenagers again.

Why was Michael in my dream, you ask? Well, dream content simply reflects our everyday lives. Whatever we are doing or thinking about or stressing over is what usually emerges in our dreams. Earlier that night I had re-read some of his wife's blog in which she movingly describes what her days with Michael are like - the good, the bad, the in-between. He was on my mind.

There is one other impression that remains. It is of the sincere joy Claire experienced in seeing Michael so happy. This is where dreams get weird. Although in my interaction with Michael he was clearly not ill, her reaction was all about Michael having a wonderful experience in spite of his illness.

Although I have never met her, the devotion and love she shares with Michael is deep and obvious, and this was evidently on my mind as well. He is a lucky man, and so am I.