I am walking on a street full of people, holding my child’s hand. In my other hand I carry a bulky heavy something. I drop the warm soft fingers for a second to adjust the handles on the uncomfortable package and when I reach back for the little hand without looking, it’s not there. My own empty hand is suspended in the air, searching and not finding its companion. I don’t have to look down to know my child is not by my side, but I do and can’t take my eyes away from the spot where it was just a moment ago. A moment, a second, an instant. It’s gone. I scream the name out loud, but nobody seems to pay attention. Slowly, a chill begins to form at the base of my neck and spreads down to my limbs, but not through the bones, rather along my blood vessels; and I feel how this cold blood travels to the ends of my fingers and toes stripping me of any strength to do anything. I look at the faces of people walking toward me and try to ask them about my child, but they pass me, without seeing or hearing what I have to say. I drop the package and start running, but don’t know which way to run. I know with every precious minute I lose I have less of a chance to find my child, but the streets twist Escher-like and I end-up in the place where I just left. Realizing the inevitable, I am blinded by grief and feel myself turn into a stone, unable to move or make a sound. Here I make an effort and wake up, bring myself out of another bad dream and count my blessings.
I’ve had this dream many times about different locales and children of different ages. Twice I’ve experienced this nightmare very briefly in real life with my Dina when she was little. They started long before I became a mother and continue to this day.
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