Thursday, January 15, 2004

A Visit From Layla

My favorite dream since losing the girls was only about Layla, and felt so real that to this day, I'm still not sure whether it was a dream, a hallucination, or a visitation. I spent the night at my mom's house, and I seemed to awaken right at dawn. There is a big mirror against the wall in that bedroom, and I woke facing it. As I lay there thinking and the light in the room slowly increased, I could see in the mirror what looked for all the world like the top of Layla's head on the pillow behind mine. I froze, sure it was a trick of the light or a bunched up blanket, but not wanting to move or shatter the illusion. A moment later, she lifted her head enough for me to see the familiar sleepy face as she put her fingers in her mouth as she always did and laid back down. At this point, I couldn't decide whether I was hallucinating or dreaming, but I didn't want it to end, regardless, so I still refused to move. A couple of minutes later, she was still there, so I tentatively said, "Layla?" I heard a sleepy, "Hmm?" I could hear her! I could talk to her! I talked to her about what heaven was like and whether she was happy there (she said she was.) I asked her if she could fly there. This had been a big concern for me, because just about a week before I lost them, I had assured them that they could fly in heaven. She said she could. I asked her who her favorite person was there, and she told me it was the "toy lady." I asked the toy lady's name, and she told me it was Nohrin. I was a little alarmed at this, because I have a Japanese friend named Nohrin who had just recently moved back to Japan, but I checked with her later, and she was fine. I finally mustered the courage to roll over and face Layla, but she didn't disappear. I couldn't resist touching her and cuddling her, fully expecting her to dissipate if I tried, but she snuggled up to me and I was overjoyed. I tried to smell her hair, but there was no scent to her whatsoever. I'd like to point out here that in my dreams, I can see color, smell, taste, read things and remember what I've read, so the lack of smell didn't necessarily mean to me that I was dreaming. As I was pondering the meaning of this, music started playing outside. I looked toward the window and noticed that the sun was rising. The music sounded like a very loud church orchestra, and I was wondering (not without some aggravation) who would be making so much noise so early in the morning out in the country where my mother lives. I realized too late that as I was distracted from her, Layla had vanished. My first reaction was anger at myself for letting myself get distracted, for starting to take her appearance for granted. My next thought was gratitude for the time I had with her. The music had faded as my thoughts turned back to Layla, but there was never any sense of waking up. I laid quietly for some time, going over what had happened in my mind, then I got up and went out to the living room to tell my mother what had happened.

I know different people will have different opinions about what I experienced. I'm not even sure of my own opinion. I'm just glad it happened, whatever it was.

Addendum: Some time after that dream, I noticed that the mirror had been moved out of that room in my mom's house. I kept forgetting to ask her about it until she read this post and mentioned it to me. She asked Robbie, and it turns out that mirror has been in a packing box in the garage ever since they moved into that house. I sat in stunned disbelief, remembering how real it had seemed, and how I told my mother all the details immediately afterward. I'm sure I went back into my room after talking to my mom, to get dressed if nothing else, and wouldn't I have noticed if the mirror hadn't been there, as convinced as I was that it was real? It's hard to put my disappointment into words, but I still think there was something miraculous about that visit, even if it turns out it had to be a dream. November 2,2005