"Your Matthew was in my dream last night. In my dream I had gone to pick up my daughter at daycare and the kids were all seated at a table coloring Valentines. Matthew was sitting next to B and they were talking about their work and sharing crayons. I knew it was him in my dream and I was surprised he was there but it was a good surprise. His Valentine was a big red heart and he had written "I love Mommy" and then his name, Matthew. I woke up feeling so driven to tell you about this dream. I think Matthew wants you to know he loves you. Your son has touched so many, Lori. Thank you for sharing him with us."
I have to say this took me by surprise. I have yet to have any dreams that were specifically about Matthew. I've had two or three nightmares, that I know were connected with losing Matthew, but none that have given me even the slightest sense about him. What he's like. What he'd be like. That he is even cognizant of me. Even without the hormones raging through me, this made me weep. And weep some more.
Selfish as I am, I had to ask if she remembered anything about him. What he looked like? What he was wearing? What his voice was like? Anything. Just anything. Again, with her permission, here is her response:
"I feel so blessed at having Matthew appear to me in a dream but I also feel almost guilty at having seen him as a young preschooler, at possibly having a glimpse of him that you have not seen. I wish I could take a photograph of him in my dream.
I remember, in the dream, walking into the classroom and not recognizing the boy next to B but noticing how sweet he was and how cute the two of them were sitting side by side chatting and coloring. I remember his little hand holding the crayon and being impressed that he had written all the words on his valentine at such a young age.
He was looking down at his valentine so first I saw this head of dark waves. Lots of hair. When I said hello to B they both looked up and I caught my breath. His eyes were dark brown with long, long lashes. His face was round, almost heart shaped, and came to a little point at his chin. His cheeks were full and his little red lips and pearly teeth formed the sweetest smile that was so kind and gentle. The expression in his eyes was wise beyond his years. He was alert and aware and he just knew. I wish I had the words to describe this more clearly. I can still see the two of them sitting at the table together I just don't have the words to describe it well enough.
I hope my lacking description does not cause frustration or despair. I hope you hold Matthew's message close to your heart and let it soothe the aching you feel for him. "
Though obviously I have no idea of how accurate this would be, I do have to say that it's just as I'd imagine him to be. Just before we went up to bed last night, I was looking at Matthew's picture, as I always do, and noted to John how Matthew had more hair at birth than Luke does now. And commenting about how it was so much darker than Luke's. I know from that small glimpse of the back of Matthew's head I had that there were definitely swirls and waves to the the texture of his hair. I know that his eyes were brown at birth and the nurses all told me that if babies are born with brown eyes, they usually stay that way. I know he probably could have had long eyelashes because John and his little brother do. I know that pointed chin because it's mine. And my mother's. And my grandmother's. I know that gentle heart because he was so, so good to his mama while I was pregnant. I know he would have been driven as first-borns usually are to be over-achievers, and knowing his mama, he probably WOULD have known all his letters then. (John and I laughed sort of, at how different I am. Had Matthew lived, I am sure I would have continued my highly-strung, Type A personality traits and that baby probably would have been reciting the Gettysburg Address at 12 months. Luke, on the other hand, now has the mama who thinks that Valentine's Day cookies are just a great treat at breakfast, and the kid STILL can't clap, ha ha!) I know that those little lips were perfect and plump at birth and looked so much like his brother's did when Luke was born. I know that boy would certainly have been alert because like his brother, he'd take after his (very active and alert!) daddy.
I know that boy.
Or, at least I think I do.
And I know that boy would love his mama because his mama so loves him. With so much joy and aching mixed together, I love him. I miss him. I wish I could have every single thing this dream embodies with that sweet little precocious boy.
Until that day...I'm grateful for the dreams and messages from others. What a precious, precious Valentine's Day gift. Thank you, H.