my last night in fayetteville, i couldn't seem to get rested. i woke up multiple times throughout the night, which is not like me. i woke up early in a fog and exhausted. i knew something had happened, i was just too confused to grasp it. i packed all my things and hauled them to my car, still trying to figure out what had happened. aaron and i sat in his living room, listening to the record player, when a knock came from his front door. aaron opened the door and greeted his father who came to inquire about a home video he was trying to play. he and aaron spoke briefly, then with a smile and a "nice to meet you, jordan", he was gone. when that door shut, it hit me like a ton of bricks what had happened the night before.
i had a dream about him.
it happens from time to time. mostly, my dreams of him are lonely. he's by himself. we're separated somehow. it's never really anything i wake up and wish myself back to sleep. i must admit, though, i do crave these dreams because that means that for just a brief moment, i see him moving. in my dreams, he's tangible. what a harsh reality to wake up and remember he is gone.
you know when you have a dream, and you can't remember it exactly...not at first? piece by piece, it slowly comes to you. this is what happened to me wednesday morning. as i sat there, i felt the emotion flood over and the curtain rise to reveal the remnant memories of my previous night.
i was staying after school with my journalism class. for some reason, no one had cell phones (must have been a dream, right?). we were working furiously on the yearbook to meet our upcoming deadline (which is actually a present state i am in). our school was all glass and absolutely futuristic. there were walkways all around and zero privacy. you could look into any of your neighbors' classrooms and also see who was roaming the hallways. i am reading over the shoulder of one of my students when i look up and see a pair of cargo shorts making their way down the hallway. as my gaze rises, i see that round, tan face holding a broad grin with a speckled black beard that i so love. ( in the dream it was completely normal. he was actually living in my reality, which is a rare dream, indeed). i am comforted to see him, and open my door to greet him with kiss and a hug. he looks around my room at all of my students, says he knows that i am super busy, but he was a passing a quick message from my mother. (this is kind of unclear in my memory. it was something along the lines of "would i come home for dinner?" or something home related) i gave him a positive reply. he then told me that he was just in the neighborhood and told my mother he'd make sure i got the message. i told him i was so glad he stopped by. he turned to leave, then turned around and looked at my classroom, put his arm around my waist and pulled me into him. i put my arms around his neck in a familiar hug, and he whispered in my ear, "josie, i am so proud of you." he gave me a wink and a peck on the cheek and then walked out...
all my life, that is all i ever wanted: to make my parents proud. the special significance to this dream is that my father was killed during my student teaching semester. he never got to see me as a teacher, as Miss Simmons. he was always rooting for me,though, because i am the first person from my family to ever go to college. he loved teaching sunday school and was always an inspiration to me to be an outstanding teacher. having those doubtful times recently, this dream gave me a piece of encouragement i have needed for some time: c a r r y o n.