|Photo Credit: Emily Brewster|
I was afraid of sleeping, or rather, not sleeping, after that first night. And so I did what made sense to me and that was to find something that would help put me to sleep. I was successful and found amazing assistance in the form of a little, round pill. I could sleep. And there were no nightmares. But there were no dreams either.
After two weeks I thought maybe I'd better try sleeping on my own, lest I become a sleeping pill addict... and also because I wanted to dream. I selfishly wanted her to visit me in my dreams. I had heard stories about this: dreams so vivid it was like their lost loved one was really there. I fixated on what Avery would tell me; what words of wisdom she would impart to her grieving mother.
Except she hasn't been in my dreams yet.
I think about her constantly. She interrupts my thoughts. I can't focus on what people are saying to me because suddenly a thought will slip in: I'll never know how tall Avery would have grown, I'll think. She'll never be in a wedding; she just always wanted to be in a wedding. Or, I should flip through every book on the bookcases because maybe she left a note in one of them.
Today I broke down multiple times. I had gone to a store called Hobby Lobby. She would have loved it, I sobbed. In each aisle I saw something she would have wanted; decorative crosses and faith filled wall art. I picked myself up and went next door to Dollar Tree for a couple odds and ends. I cried when I saw the super-cheap Nativity scene. She always set the Nativity scene up at Christmas and she won't be doing that this year. Or ever, ever again. I picked myself up and went across the street to Target. And I bawled when I got to the Christmas aisle. Each year, Santa "labeled" his gifts to the kids with an ornament that had their initials on it. Santa won't have to buy an "A."
I picked myself up and drove slowly home, my heart weeping.
I then did what I have found myself doing since October 24th. Staying up as late as my body will allow me even though I'm so tired I could cry. Because I am scared of falling asleep. I'm scared of not falling asleep. I'm scared of not knowing what will happen when I sleep. Or what won't happen. And so I wait until my body can't take another second and fall, utterly and completely spent, into bed.
When Avery was just six weeks old I started dating Jason. We dated for a couple years and he was the only person who could get Avery to calm down and fall asleep. He would sing Dreaming My Dreams by the Cranberries. I had forgotten that.
I am so glad I remembered.
Tonight I'll be dreaming my dreams with Avery... or I'll be waiting...