I went upstairs to the little bassinette, noticing the detailed pattern on the red oriental rug runner going up the middle of the creaking, oaken-steps. I didn't remember seeing red on the floor before. The walls were also a deep burgundy color. And, no lights were on. Everything was dark. Or, covered by shadow. The sunshine was streaming into the house during the "haze." Blue skies dotted with cotton-like cumulous clouds danced above green tree tops. But Emma suddenly got quiet on the monitor. And, I figured she needed a change at this point anyway.
When I opened the door to Emma's room, it was a relief to see my baby breathing softly beneath her blanket. Emma needed to be changed. Caring for her was all that mattered. It was a bad one, too. The diaper. Very messy. So I just cooed and smiled and hummed a lullaby while cleaning her up and changing not just her diaper, but her clothes, too. She smiled and cooed back--a happy baby who followed my every movement. Emma may have been tiny, but she was so alert and engaged. So beautiful. Not just her face, but her spirit as well. Her bright eyes were blue and she had these impossibly long lashes. When she smiled, she shined...and so did her eyes. Her nose was like a doll's nose, turning up with her smile. She had my smile, too. Not a lot of hair, but what was there was light. I loved the feeling of holding her in my arms. Hearing her little sounds. Smelling her baby-smell. And, the warmth and weight of her in my arms...pure heaven.
After we spent time with family in the kitchen, Emma's beautiful blues were getting heavy; she was ready for another nap. I carefully carried her back up the stairs. It was odd to be so at home in a home I'd never seen before, yet, it was somehow my house. Having just changed her, Emma was dry and comfortable, and after nursing, was fast asleep. I laid her sweet head in that gorgeous bassinette. Touched her soft cheek, then turned to leave her room. But as I closed the door to her bedroom, two men who had hidden themselves somewhere in the house, made themselves known.
One might imagine fear being my response. But you would have to have lived my life to understand why finding criminals in my home was not exactly a surprise, nor was it something that even made me flinch. I simply started walking down the stairs and called over my shoulder, "I've made some home-made mac-n-cheese if you want to come down and join me."
Needless to say, the two strangers followed me down and whatever their plan was, it seemed to have been forgotten. They left and I went up to check on Emma. She was still sleeping. I moved her blanket but, this time, it wasn't Emma. It was a doll.
Panicked, I went all over the house, searching for my baby. My family was helping me. We managed to find the two vagrants who had threatened me and my child. Southerners, both of them. Neither were familiar to me. One was short with dark hair. The other, big, blonde and bearded, wearing a baseball cap. The two led me on a wild goose chase for my daughter. False leads, children who weren't mine, and finally, I very calmly, and with total precision, choked the big one after disabling the little one. The larger of the two laughed at first, until my knee began crushing his larynx. No more sound after that. He was only able to get out one last, whispered thought, "She's with my great-grandmother."
From the way he said it, I knew his great-grandmother was dead. That meant my daughter was, too.
All of the above was part of the dream I had before waking this morning. It made no sense that the two men I had diverted from committing a crime somehow still managed to rip away everything that mattered. I didn't understand how or when they did what they did; my family and I were there the whole time. We never left the house. Emma was safe. She was in her bassinette--I put her there myself. I protected her. How was it that she could still be taken away??? It all happened so fast, I couldn't seem to wrap my brain around how any of it was possible, let alone probable.
My dreams have been post-apocalyptic lately, and rarely in English. I'm often helping children and families get to safety or find shelter. The other day, I was dreaming in French. The night before last, in Latin. The mind of a polyglot, I suppose. I've dreamt in German, Hebrew and Aramaic, too. And, languages beyond memory. But my dream this morning is not hard to translate. I lost the real Emma in 2014 and it wasn't from natural causes. If I had supportive people around me at the time, I may have been able to have achieved a modicum of closure. Maybe. But since that wasn't the case, my brain continues to work on the problem.
In the dream, I wasn't angry, surprised or scared. It felt "normal" to have to deal with what would otherwise be considered terrifying circumstances. By the way, my dream-family was the cast from Gilmore Girls. Kind of sad, actually. I woke when I realized my daughter was dead, but not before seeing the man responsible pay for his crime.
Patience, consistency and a calm demeanor always leads to victory over your oppressors, even if that victory is not the way you imagined it to be. We have but one month remaining in 2017. One month. That's not enough time to make up for the pitfalls we've experienced before today. But it is enough time to decide that, no matter what pitfalls come before us in the future, we will not be victims--even if victimized. We will not be reactive. We will be proactive.
Let no one minimize who you are. You are more powerful than you may want to believe. It is frightening to acknowledge the divine being within...I know. But once you do, those who are enemies will fall. Not at your hand either. The Universe has a way of taking care of the obstacles when you allow your connection to manifest in your every day life. Self-awareness is how that connection happens. Meaning, one must avoid violence and abuse by choosing compassion over judgment, kindness over cruelty and solutions over problems--not just most of the time, ALL of the time. Mindfulness maintains your connection through diligent practice of honor-based ethics informing how you live each moment of each day for the rest of yours on the planet. It's not easy, and can be extremely frustrating, until you remember who you really are; outside of the linear existence forced by your physicality, you are light. Light is love. It is warmth. Hope. New beginnings. Growth. Strength. Sustenance. Renewal. Grace. And, most important of all...heart.
Your momentum (or lack thereof) is 100% up to you--and I'm speaking directly to the good people in this world. To those of you who are destined to find your wings, you must never give up on yourselves, or, the world. Even when our nightmares come true. In order to move forward after trauma, it helps to know that the "bad guys" will not have the opportunity to hurt us again. Unfortunately, human-justice is woefully inadequate. That is why karma exists. Not to punish, but to repair the inequities. I can tell you with complete certainty that the people who deserve it, eventually find the wrong side of the wrong knee. Every. Single. One.
That's the real meaning of my dream. Even after unfathomable loss, we can reclaim agency over our lives. We have to. For, if we do not resist the social resistance, speak out against the silence, and fight for our very lives--who will show the next generation what winning truly looks like? Who will lead the new-born angels-on-earth to heal the world??? There is no one but us, so we must step up, stand up, and move our physical bodies forward...no matter what.