Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dreaming of Samuel

I've spent the last 2 days in bed, recovering from surgery to repair an intestinal problem I got from pregnancy with Samuel.  It's been kind of nice to stay in bed all day.  Since Samuel died, I've kind of wanted to just stay in bed, and now I have a reason.  Poor Bryan has had to play nurse and be the solo parent on his weekend, but he has been a trooper.

In fact, Caleb and Bryan just made a menu of all the stuff in our fridge, and Caleb brought it up to me to take my order.  They named the restaurant "Joely Loving Orange Restaurant" because Joel does REALLY love orange.  He announces it daily: "Orange! Orange my favorite color!!!"  Caleb has been a very proud server, and when I compliment him by saying, "You're the best server ever!" he replies with, "I know."  He has been beaming every time he's come up to check on me and see if I need anything else.  Leave it to Bryan to think of making a game out of lunch and caring for me.  He is a GREAT dad!

This past week one of my best friends, Kiley, came to visit with her 21 month old daughter.  It was really wonderful to have her here.  We were able to enjoy time together and cry together.  I realized how good it is for me to talk about Samuel and our time in the hospital.  I obviously have lots of opportunities to write about what we've experienced, but I don't get as many chances to talk about it and share some of the parts I wouldn't want to post.  It was healing for me to have such a precious friend here.

Shortly after Samuel died, Kiley told me she was praying I would have dreams about Samuel.  I was a little nervous about this because I thought dreams of him would only be heartbreaking.  But I was wrong.  Last night I had my first Samuel dream.  In it Samuel was at home with us (it was a different house than our actual one -- as is often the case in my dreams).  I was aware in my dream that Samuel was supposed to be dead, and I think for part of my dream he was.  I was holding him, and he was very, very cold.  I kept searching for a blanket to warm him up while Bryan was talking to a neighbor.  At one point I looked down at Samuel, and his eyes were open.  He was looking at me and looking all around at the room.  He was perfectly alert, and he knew who I was.  I was stunned and couldn't stop staring at him and smiling.  I got Bryan's attention, and we both just looked at Samuel and talked to him.  He was about 3 months old -- which is how old he would be next weekend -- and he was beautiful.  Actually, he reminded me of Joel at about 5 months.  His eyes were a blue-green color (I never really could tell Samuel's eye color because the lighting in the hospital wasn't very bright, and later the whites of his eyes turned electric yellow from the jaundice, and I couldn't tell his iris color next to it), and he was so happy.  I kept soaking in his little face because it was the first time I got a chance to really study him without all the tape and tubes on him.  He had a few bruises and scratches from where the tape and tubes had been, but he was gorgeous.  No puffiness, no yellow skin.  Just Samuel as he would have been as a 3 month old baby.  It was such a happy dream, and I woke up feeling that way -- happy for a glimpse of Samuel well and growing, happy for the moments when he looked at me and knew I was his momma, happy to be holding him when he was squirming and not on a paralytic, happy to see his face and his eyes without all the medical things impeding my vision, happy to have a few moments with my Samuel.  It was a good dream!

When I think about Samuel and what I would have dreamed for him if he had lived, it would be simply this: a life walking with Jesus.  And isn't that what he has?  He gets to spend eternity with God, and he got to skip all the parts where he would drift away or make poor decisions or reject His God.  He gets to live out the verse that was on his prayer blanket and that we put on his memorial program: "Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord" (I Samuel 2:21b).  What better thing could I wish for my son?  I am thankful for a dream of holding Samuel, and I am so thankful that my sweet son is living the greatest dream of all -- life with Jesus.


  1. I'm happy you had that beautiful dream of Samuel...What a precious gift!

    He was a beautiful little boy even with all the tubes and truly could see it! He is so loved and missed by all he touched!

    I hope you continue to be blessed with dreams of Samuel. You are in my thoughts and prayers always.

    Candice Jenness & Baby Susan ♥

  2. What a beautiful thing! My husband and I had the pleasure of eating with your dear husband today and I was struck again at the grace and peace of God that just flows from him. I see it in you both on here, but it's entirely different to experience it in person.
    There's a few lines from an Aaron Shust song that I find rolling through my mind often these days. It says "I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned. I only know at His right hand stands one who is my Savior." I truly am not skilled to understand why God has you on your road, why he did not heal Samuel, why Bryan has now lost both his parents and a son, why on top of everything that you endured in August, you had a complication from your pregnancy that required surgery. But I do know the one who stands beside God. As Bryan so eloquently stated today, the one who is your strong anchor in this terrible storm.
    In reading your post, I am hopeful that your dream of Samuel is only the first of many such beautiful dreams-many small glimpses into your eternity with a healthy Samuel, with no tubes, no medicine, no bruises.
    I think you would have to look long and hard to find 3 luckier boys than Caleb, Joel, and Samuel. It's too bad they probably won't ever truly realize how blessed they are to have you as their parents.
    Keep shining your light, sweet Katherine. As long as you have words to share, I am here to read them.