So this may not be eloquent. (You may want to place bets on that. I've got 5 to 1 odds on 'mediocre word choice.') But anyway, today I had one of those mornings where you wake with a jolt and, once you gather where you REALLY are and what you are REALLY doing, you are pleased as punch to no longer be living in the dream world your subconscious pieced together from memories, fears and random bits of chicken wire.
(Yes, your dream subconscious is, in fact, the mental equivalent of a sadistic McGyver. You know...for the record.)
Anyway, on with the story...
So last night, my brother, Justin, was kidnapped. That his age fluctuated throughout the entire dream did not tip me off in the slightest way that anything might be amiss...so I ran about frantically in search of the man-child, spouting things to authority figures that I had picked up on CSI: Las Vegas. Things like, "the first 48 hours are the most crucial in kidnapping cases. After that, the survival rate of the victim drops dramatically."
As you may expect, the police in my dream were annoyed.
Frustrated by their refusal to spur to action, I basically became hysterical--screaming, crying, railing at The Fates for claiming my brother--that kind of thing.
But this is the part that really struck me:
In the depths of my tantrum, I hit my knees. I hit my knees and uttered one of the most sincere prayers I have ever uttered, awake or no. In my dream prayer, I begged God to please return my brother home...there were several versions of this plea uttered before I heard these words come out of my dream mouth: "Take me instead. A trade. My life for his."
At that moment, I woke up.
My eyes flew open the way they only do when you are terrified. And in that instant, before I even knew up from down, I knew God had granted my request. I knew my brother was safe at home. And I cannot describe the serge of thankfulness I felt. Odd, as it was spurred by events which never even took place...
You see, my brother and I don't talk much. Which is a sin, really.
In childhood he was my partner in crime. A little boy with the biggest heart and biggest brain...
I converted Justin early. I wanted him on Team Erin to unite against the Evil Axis of Ryan as soon as possible. Up to and until that time, The Erin, while still in power, was admittedly losing ground to The Axis, an invader who tattled on her and refused to play the games she liked.
Anyway, Justin came and, while I had hoped for a female ally, I soon found that this particular addition to the fight brought more to the table than I could've strategized previously. He was sweet. He was fun. He laughed when I sang him songs. And when I pulled him in a wagon. And when I played with his chubby legs and sang made-up lyrics consisting of "Running to the store and...jump over that leaf."
I. Loved. This. Kid.
People get older. Games fall away. The Axis crumbles to reveal a real human being that you suddenly realize you love with all your might. Relationships they...change. If you are lucky--and in many ways, I have been--those relationships evolve into something greater. And sustainable. Something that doesn't need as much water, sunlight and constant attention to grow.
I guess what I needed this morning was a reminder. A reminder to foster those relationships closest to my core. And, whether you want to hear it or not, I am amazed at what The Lord has done to show me this over the past week.
I spoke with The Axis. He comes home in 20-some-odd days, and I cannot wait to see him. I called Justin first-thing this morning, and, while he usually doesn't answer in the mornings, I actually heard his voice--a litany of yes and no answers--but a comfort to the inner me who, just moments before, subconsciously believed I had lost him forever. And this afternoon I leave for Florida to spend a few days with my mom and Rodger.
There is a checkered history there. There is pain. But it's a pain I wouldn't trade.
I see You in this.
I thank You.