Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy President's Day

I dreamt of Henry again last night. It happens so infrequently.

My family is out of town this week, and I've been trying to keep myself busy, and to avoid thinking too much about him. I didn't want to hit a real low here all by myself.

Recently work has provided some trauma to my emotional scab about Henry. Tho I see kids frequently, several of them have triggered emotion in the last few weeks. I enjoy them, but the ones who mention some of his favorite things with the passion that only a 4 year old can feel, or who wear the underwear he used to wear, or who giggle in the way he used to giggle, can catch me off guard. The memories are pleasant, really, but the loss of course isn't.

And occasionally we'll have to do something unpleasant to a kid his age. The screams of "That huwts" or "pwease pwease pwease stop" coming unexpectedly down the hall hit me like a baseball bat, and I'm back changing his Hickman dressing while my husband wraps his arms around him so he can't move and dirty the sterile field. He went through so damn much. I wonder if those memories would feel different had he made it, more badge of courage than futility.

Anyway, back to the dream. Funny, it's clearly due to my book, but he was time traveling. He was already dead, but showed up again for an unspecified amount of time, in our time. It was just wonderful. We knew he'd be gone again, but he didn't. He laughed so much, and was so happy, and he picked me to put him to bed. He talked about his sisters so lovingly, and asked me to read "The night before Christmas" to him. And just before I started he said, in the way he always did when he was explaining something, "Did you know that tomorrow is George Washington's birthday?"


Anonymous said...

Beautiful dream. All Henry.

Sister Smak

rlbates said...


Anonymous said...

You dream on girl!


Stacy said...

(((HUGS))) I've only dreamt of my daughter once since she died. She wasn't time traveling, but I did intellectually know she was gone and I only had a limited time with her. It is a grateful, but raw feeling to dream like that.

I hope you have a peaceful week.

OHN said...

Those "visits" can be wonderful.

...tom... said...


... more badge of courage than futility.


But you see at the time they were not futile. They were real, and loving, and caring ...even as they 'hurt' or 'restrained' or whatever.

Only when one 'measures' the memories against the outcome do they feel 'futile'. Surely, as a physician, you must experience this occasionally.

Futility is a soul-sucking emotion, as much as anger, revenge, jealousy, hate are. It is alright, I suppose, to briefly touch them, to acknowledge them. But to succumb to them, to wallow in them is certainly not enriching or a true memory of the past.

Not that I think you are doing so.

Know you do not need a 'badge' to prove anything. You demonstrate and live your courage every day. Do not sell yourself short in valuing those experiences and memories.

{{{hugs as always}}}


Anonymous said...

I click on your blog when I feel I need to be reminded of what is most important in life. Love and family first and all else is just window dressing. My mind is always somehow more peaceful and my heart more content after reading your blog. It makes a difference in my day. Thinking of you today. Lovingly~toni

Anonymous said...

You need to write a book. You say things so beautifully. I know others would love to read a book written by you.

Anonymous said...

You need to write a book. You say things so beautifully. I know others would love to read a book written by you.

:) That has already been suggested, more than once.

Both of them--Henry's parents--are wonderful writers and communicators. They share a beautiful yet tragic story with their blog readers. I am sure their story and their telling of it would touch many beyond these pages and posts.

Time will tell I guess.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Smak, so glad that Henry visited....he is such a "good guy"-he continues to teach us and surround us.
take care k3p3