Days of Future Past


Sometimes, I feel like the French woman from Lost, who had a radio, distress message repeating for sixteen years before someone heard it.

I feel like I’ve said and written so much about a passionate topic, and I’m not successful with my message. Then,  I realize I haven’t penned as much as I think, so today, as crazy as it will be, I’m writing it down.

You probably have to be a special kind of reader to follow along with my thoughts, movie/tv references and these dots…

“An ellipsis (plural: ellipses) is a punctuation mark consisting of three dots. Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage. Ellipses save space or remove material that is less relevant.”

Or, it means my thoughts trailed off and I don’t know how to end the sentence. Im more concerned about getting my words typed before I forget them…because I’m forgetting a lot these days.

First, don’t immediately get caught up that this post will be sad – because I am not sad sitting here writing it, as the crisp, October breeze makes me almost wish I had on long sleeves. Almost.

The morning sun is shining on this porch swing, and birds are discussing the latest in bird news and song. Fields of grass and trees stretch around me and you can’t typically see your neighbor’s house.

I’ve heard at least five gun shots as I take in this beautiful autumn morning, but don’t be alarmed. I’m in Georgia and it’s hunting season. My husband is out there somewhere – waiting on a 10-point he’s watched grow for years. Yesterday, he had it in his sight, only to reveal a fogged-up scope. He said never in 30 years has he had a scope fog up on his gun. We lost his dad a few weeks ago and he wanted to go after this deer, using some of Pop’s ashes in the gun powder.

Don’t. You. Laugh.   Or, cry foul.

As I’ve become more comfortable with cremation, I find it hilarious what people do with a loved one’s remains. I personally want to be mixed with some glitter and made into a few Christmas ornaments. One of my best friend’s families carry her mom and beloved grandmother around to parties and other family events, because that’s the way she would have wanted it.

Anyway, he texted me that he had missed the deer, and that he wasn’t using “Pop” anymore. We laughed because his dad had terrible eyesight from diabetes and that’s probably why he missed the shot.

The strange thing was, both a nearby game cam and his scope fogged up at the exact same time stamp when that huge deer walked through. Not for hours before or after did the photo images from the camera  appear so blurred as those few minutes my husband was watching that deer.

Was it Pop? Clique said he was probably laughing at him. He may have known his gun would later jam and was trying to save his son’s face and long locks (that should be cut). Or, was it a moment to ease my husband’s heart as he grieves the absence of his dad? Things happen that we can’t quite explain that make us think something else is happening in the spirit realm we can’t quite see.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re thinking with me of his dad’s patronus… and whether or not you believe in signs like this, it leads me to the point of this post.

Who am I kidding , I have like 7 points. Not quite Pop deer’s 10 points, but lots of points.

I dreamed of my brother last night. He died in February. I am absolutely fascinated with dreams and if anyone reading this happens to have some knowledge on the subject that goes beyond what you eat before bed, then please contact me. My dad has night terrors, and has since he was a boy. What part of the brain does this? Is it some type of mental microchip malfunction in the Simpson line? Are we really just crazy?

I hope not because I dream every night. They are vivid, sometimes exhausting, and several times it’s like a lived a whole lifetime, only to wake up confused as to what reality I’m in. The perfect reference to this is when Jean Luc Picard was stunned from an alien probe aboard the Starship Enterprise. He lived a life separate from the one he knew, with a wife, children, all the way into old age, in the span of 30 minutes. The people of a dying planet had their memories download into the probe in hopes that it would be found, and someone would know about them. They wanted their world to live on in someone’s memories.

Some people don’t believe my dreams, but when I start documenting them all instead of just texting to a best friend, I’ll be famous. You just watch. M. Night Shyamalan is going to call me up one day and ask for a movie script.

Now, to the dream. It wasn’t one of the fantastic, crazy ones, but it is definitely intriguing to me. ESPECIALLY since my little sister texted me as soon as she woke up saying she had dreamed about our brother. Really? What are the odds? I mean, it could happen, but that’s pretty weird.

My brother’s death has been very, very hard on my grandfather, who is about to be 84. Jeremy was the only grandson and I think, as a family, there are a lot of regrets about the way all of us kept in touch, and our disconnected way of life.

In my dream, I could project myself back a few minutes in time. This is probably because I recently watched X-Men: Days of Future Past for the 25th time.

Anyway, I was at this tropical resort where my brother was found dead. At the location, I was faced with calling my grandparents with the news, and I remember hardly being able to speak words to my grandfather, it was so painful. I uttered the words, “I can’t reach dad.”
The next thing I know, I’m back in time and walking up a large, resort sidewalk with Jeremy, just before he enters his hotel, where he’s later found dead. He’s busy trying to figure out why I’m there, until I finally yell, “Jeremy! You’re going to die in 5 minutes! Talk to Pawpaw!” He face goes solemn and he takes the phone. A flip phone.

And that’s all I remember.
Except somewhere in the dream someone else has died, and I’m making that phone call, too.  I’m thinking, “Not two in the same year,” from my own family.” Don’t make me call my grandparents twice.

Aside from losing my brother, my husband lost a best friend, aunt, uncle and his dad in the last ten months. This year has been…

Christmas Eve 2016. We get a call that Jeremy’s truck/van has broken down on the way to Mawmaw’s house, where we have gathered at 5pm for as long as I can remember. Instead of memories of eating, laughing, people complaining of me taking pictures – I have few memories of Jeremy that night. He was in a horrible mood, stressed, and left with my dad and uncle to have the vehicle towed or something during the family festivities. We always take a sibling/grandkids photo and we didn’t that night.

Christmas Day 2016. Jeremy, my mom and stepdad come to my house because my parents are divorced and my mom and Fred have no family, except for me and Jeremy. I want it to be a loving day, and I think deep down my mom does too, but someone always is aggravated with someone about time, or a comment…I don’t know. It’s been that way for a few years.

Anyway, I know Jeremy and his girlfriend were there because I do have pictures. Thank You, Lord. We have a picture of mom, Fred, me, my husband, our two girls and Uncle Jeremy.  I don’t know that Jeremy would have even come if he wasn’t there to get my car. See, I had broken my leg on 12/22/16 and was in a terrible splint, until someone could do surgery 12/28. I broke my fibula and tibia and would not be driving for a while.

I knew my brother had been struggling and I told him to take my car. My husband gave him money to get his fuel pump fixed, and honestly, if I could have bailed Jeremy out of whatever troubles he was facing, I would have. He was the one of the few people I absolutely trusted with anything I had, any secret I wanted to tell, even though I rarely saw him…I could tell him anything.

Insert about fifty more paragraphs of details you don’t need, and I’ll wrap up this post.

The last time I saw my brother alive and awake was Christmas Day, 12/25/16.

The last time I actually saw my brother was 2/25/17 when the UAB organ donation transplant team picked him up from St. Vincent’s hospital, as the sun set in a red-orange horizon over Birmingham.

The upcoming holidays for both my side and my husband’s side of the family are going to be difficult. Sadly, we didn’t get to say goodbye to Jeremy, having some peace of a life lived for the Lord, with no regrets, knowing he wanted to be at rest and free from pain. It doesn’t change the pain of my husband and his siblings, but falling back on Pop’s legacy does give a measure of comfort.

I didn’t know much about my brother’s life as I thought I did, as was discovered in the days and weeks following his death and discovering different sets of friends, different versions of the truth, and I will never, ever know what really happened.

He had a stroke, then he had a seizure. The plan was to remove the ventilator the next day and determine damage, but an unknown aneurysm blew that evening and he was gone.

People say you never know who will be here next year at family gatherings and that we better enjoy and invest in the time we are given.

If someone isn’t here next time for you – did they know Jesus? Did they believe He was the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him?

I don’t need a coexist bumper sticker. This is real life and death – where will you spend eternity? I’m not going to debate who wants to come back as a rock, or an elevated state or lives in some other afterlife. There is only one. I’m sorry. Jehovah God is the only one creator of this universe.

Yes, He is holy and requires obedience and establishes boundaries for us because of an infinite love I cannot even describe. I can just promise you that it’s real, and whatever adjustments you need to make at your family gatherings this year- do it.

Don’t have any regrets. Don’t be selfish, stubborn and your own ruler. Come under the authority of the One who gave us life and is preparing an eternity for those who believe and follow Him.