Web Site: A Writer's Journey
A woman searches her past for memories and proof of a dream that was real.
Sarah strolled across the pebbly beach and climbed up onto the black stone jetty. The sun, low in the sky, sparked orange-red strands of color above the roiling ocean. It was nearly dusk. Most beachgoers were headed home for supper. It was Sarah’s favorite time to sit and meditate amidst the calming, yet powerful ambience. This time she brought a small shoebox with her.
The image came at once. As always, Sarah was three-years-old, sleeping in her mama’s bed. She awoke, alone. Frightened, she ran into the adjoining room to find her mother.
A large man sat in the over-stuffed chair in the living room and beckoned for her to come to him. Sarah knew the man and ran to him. As she drew near, she stopped and stood, stock-still. The man continued to smile, a beautiful smile on a handsome face. Sarah turned and raced out of the room and jumped back into the empty bed, torn between fear and curiosity.
She told her mama the next morning and asked why her mother was gone.
“Sarah, you just had an odd dream. I was right next door at my girlfriend’s apartment and got in a little late. What you saw never happened.”
“Did too, Mama! It was a big man and he had the nicest smile. I almost went to him, but I got scared.”
“Silly Sarah, dreams are like that. They don’t always make sense.” She pulled Sarah’s wavy, auburn hair back to plait it into braids.
The image stayed with Sarah all her life. Each time she mentioned it to her mother she received the same reply.
“You just imagined it, honey. It never really happened.”
Then why, Sarah wondered, did she still see it so clearly? She never remembered her dreams more than a few moments after she awoke. Why would a memory so clear remain with her all her life?
Sarah tried hypnosis, a technique taught to her by her therapist. He met with failure in finding the answer when he hypnotized Sarah.
“You’ve blocked this memory, Sarah. Maybe so deeply that we will never be able to recall it. Perhaps you’re not meant to remember this incident.”
“What are you saying, Dr.Joe?”
“Simply that the subconcious mind will often protect you from memories it feels you will not benefit from experiencing.”
“So what do I do?”
“Try to let it go and get on with your life.”
Sarah sighed. It was not that easy. She didn’t want to let it go. She cherished this memory, like a long lost friend. She needed to understand it, but she had no intention of letting it go.
Against her doctor’s advice, Sarah decided to hypnotize herself and chose the solitude of her favorite beach to attempt it. She stretched out across the width of the slippery jetty, inhaled the salt-scented breezes and let herself become mesmerized by the rise and fall of the blue-green sea. Sarah counted down, picturing herself walking down many long staircases, deeper and deeper. She found herself on the bottom floor and saw her old bedroom and adjoining room. Excited at long last to find the solution to her memory, she moved quickly toward the living room. It looked empty. A large clear glass shield slammed down in front of her, blocking her access to the room. The shock of the impact brought Sarah out of her trance.
She felt frustrated. Dr. Joe was right. Something refused her knowledge of this memory. Maybe it was a dream after all. No! Sarah shook her head. It was real. It is real!
After her mother’s sudden death from cardiac arrest, Sarah’s stepfather had sent her mother’s few possesions to her—snapshots, cheap jewelry. Her mother had no wealth to leave Sarah and what few assets she possessed, she left to her husband, who cared for her in her final years.
Sarah was fine with that. It hurt to admit it, but her mother’s passing was a relief. It set Sarah free. Her mother’s eccentricity often turned Sarah’s life upsidedown. Sarah’s stepfather adopted her five years after her real father was killed in World War II.
“Do you have any pictures of him, Mom?” Sarah had asked.
“I don’t think so, honey. We moved so often that a lot of things got lost. But you look a lot like him.”
This made sense since Sarah did not resemble her “Marilyn Monroe” flashy mother one bit. Sarah loved her stepfather, who clipped her mother’s wings to some degree, but there was always an empty spot in her heart—the spot where her real father belonged.
She reached for the shoebox and rummaged through the pictures she had not yet seen. Sarah came across one of a tall handsome man with laughing eyes and wavy, auburn hair. The picture was faded with age, but Sarah thought his eyes looked green. Like hers. She recognized him at once. He was the man in her “memory that never happened.”
He was dressed in full Marine uniform in the picture, adorned with medals and ribbons. He had given her life. He was killed in action on the day after Sarah was born. This much her mother had remembered. She wept; tears of loss intermingled with joy trailed down her face in a steady flow.
Her real father had followed her all her life, even though she had never really seen him; always there in times of sorrow or happiness. He was with her at the age of three and today, as she climbed down off the jetty and walked barefoot across the cooling wet sands along the shoreline.
The sun had slipped beneath the horizon as Sarah headed across the the beach. This day would be treasured forever. Her steps were as light as her heart and she smiled through blurred tears. In times when life threatened to overwhelm her, the image of her handsome father was there. A warm feeling of love washed over Sarah--her own father caring for her from another realm. Her soul sang with joy. Her mother was right, as was Dr. Joe. It was not a memory that she experienced. It was a visit from her father doing what dads do—-watching after their children. As Sarah reached the end of the beach she tucked the “memory that never happened” into that empty space in her heart. And it was full.
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|Reviewed by Patricia Guthrie
|I love this story. It's the kind of story I'd like to have locked up in my own heart. I've always believed that the paranormal is only
an extension of our souls.
Patricia A. Guthrie, author
Waterlilies Over My Grave 2008
In the Arms of the Enemy 2007
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Beautiful story, Micki; well done! BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|A warm feeling of love washed over Sarah--her own father caring for her from another realm.
A warm and meaningful story, Micki. I find it very believable. Thank you for sharing it. Love and best wishes,