The Road to Burnham


They say time flies. I don’t know about that. It sure does seem to get away from a person though. Has it really been that long? Seems like just a short while ago. It’s hard for me to grasp that 25 years have passed, this year, since my wife passed away.

What I remember most about that horrible time is the very last time I dreamt about my wife.

It was about two weeks after she had passed away, I didn’t like dreaming, I had several dreams where she was in a dark place, nighttime, it was raining, she was searching through mountains of…garbage. Have you ever seen the movie Doctor Detroit? The scene in the junkyard where there are mountains of junk? That place.

Same dream, three nights in a row. No I don’t know what they meant. Just that they made me feel terrible.

Then one night I dreamt about her and she was looking right at me. I could look in her eyes.

She was there. The sense of life was overwhelming.

We were in our car, beautiful summer day, morning from the look of the light. She was driving. We were on a road in the back country going up and down over small hills. An area I was familiar with. And she was looking at me and smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen. I noticed that her teeth were perfect. In life she had that “Lauren Hutton” gap-toothed smile. Not now though.
I heard her voice. Her lips didn’t move, she wasn’t letting go of that joyful smile she had on. But I heard her voice nonetheless. Just five words.

She said “It’s okay. I’m okay now.”

That meant something to me. She had had a rough life. Living with a terrible disease, taking medicines that had so many side effects. And for some reason, a lot of people were mean to her. Downright evil. Probably just because they could be. She was one of those people who…well, she peed sunshine and farted rainbows. Thought of everyone else first. You know the type.

She smiled at me in love, and warmth, and tenderness. This I was familiar with. But she also smiled at me with a joy that was bursting out from inside her.

Then, I was outside the car, standing on the shoulder of the road. I saw the car drive off into the distance, until it disappeared over a hill.

I never dreamed of her again.

Now, 25 years later, I still don’t know what to think. It certainly goes against what the church I was raised in taught about death, soul sleep. Today when I think about death, I still think about it in those same terms.

But my heart and my soul say it was her.
And on this side of life…that has to be enough.
Accept it for what it is.
Don’t make it something it isn’t.

But it was more than a dream.

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