Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Sweet Dream...

For the past six months, the dreams have been relentless. Throughout my life, I had rarely remembered my dreams...and even after Brittney's death, that remained the same. But coming up on my daughter's one year angelversary, this changed drastically. Here's the weird part: The dreams are fast-moving and feel like they last all night, yet I never wake up. I remember vivid (and strange) details throughout the next day. While the events that take place in these dreams are a mix of ordinary events, bizarre happenings, and on occasion, borderline nightmare material, they rarely have anything to do with trauma that has gone on in my life. The biggest issue when this all started was that I would wake up exhausted like I had been up all night, and then I would obsess the entire next day about what it all meant. I went to my doctor, was referred to a specialist, saw a counselor and was prescribed medication. While none of this stopped the dreams, I have been able to accept the pattern and dismiss the dreams each morning. Since I stopped allowing them to attack my psyche, the dreams no longer get the best of me.

While most of these dreams have made absolutely no sense to me and don't seem to connect to anything in my real life, there was one sweet exception. In this dream, I was in the shower getting ready for work. Brittney was sitting, legs extended, on the edge of the tub with the shower curtain draped over her shoulder. She was persuasively reeling off all the reasons I should call in sick to work that day so she and I could go shopping. I objected over and over (just like I had done countless times in the last few years of her life when she played the "get mom to take me shopping" game). But it all ended the way it always did...with Brittney saying, "you know you want to!!!" and me caving in....because she was right, I really did want to!

Brittney was so amazingly real in this dream that when I woke up, I wasn't sure that it hadn't really happened. This is the only time I have dreamt of Brittney since her death, but it has also triggered memories of a series of startling dreams I had about Brittney and I when she was just a little girl. I know better than to let all this take up space in my brain and make me feel crazy, but I have decided to pack it all away in the back of my mind, and wait for the answers (if there are any) to come.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lived life....and loved to laugh

Oh YES...there were times when her high jinx were over the top. I had to go into her school more than once for "situations" that had quickly gone bad as the adults in charge had failed to appreciate the humor. As a teacher myself, I definitely know that harmless fun from a kid's point of view can very quickly turn into disruption and chaos in the classroom. The reprimands she received at school and at home in these cases pretty much fell on deaf ears. It was a part of her spirit...who she was.

Now, as I browse through memories on a daily basis, these are some of the ones that surface quickly to the top and replay over and over. My Brittney's sense of humor was golden. When I think about all the fun we had during her short lifetime...all the hilarious things she said and did, and all the rooms she lit up with her personality, I just can't help but smile.

When I ran across this picture recently, I had to laugh out loud. This is Brittney making fun of my "WAY too eighties" leather backpack that I carried to and from school each day. I don't know where that backpack went to, but if I could find it, I would use it every day again just to remember how mortified she was that I actually went out in public with that thing on my back!

I love you, Britt! Your smile and laughter will forever stay in my heart and mind.