Look Straight Ahead

Sitting on the couch in my mother’s living room day and night, doing nothing but rocking, rocking, rocking, I was uncertain if I could survive this devastating blow. Unable to eat, I was still having problems with anorexia and the slightest stress would throw me into weeklong fasts.  I was becoming weak and my already slight frame became emaciated.  My heart was broken.  Once again, I had been thrown over for someone else and my fragile pain-ridden spirit could endure no more.

I am not sure how long I had been living back home with my mother.  All I know is that I had not moved from the couch, had not changed my clothes, eaten, or taken any liquids.  I was an empty shell and had it not been for what happened next, I don’t think I would be here today.

I had lain down on the sofa and closed my eyes.  Did I sleep?  I must have, because what happened next could only have been a dream.

I found myself on a dirt road.  I remember it was hot…and the dust was swirling in places, irritating my nose; I sneezed.  I saw a man up ahead, sitting on a bench.  I walked over to him slowly as you sometimes walk in dreams…so slowly that it was almost as if I were standing still and he was moving toward me.  I stood before him swaying slightly; even in the dream, I was weak from not eating.  The man reached up and drew me down onto his lap, pressing my cheek to his shoulder.

The material of his shirt irritated my cheek, but I didn’t want to move my head.  I felt peaceful and content.  I think I may have been ready to die right there, filled with a serenity I had only found in the deep woods and rolling pastures of Southern Ohio.

He began to speak.  His voice was deep and resonant, a lot like Robert Duvall’s voice; so deep and rich, that it almost sounded like singing, it was so melodious.  “I love you,” He said, rocking me like a baby.  I remember asking, “How will I know this is not a dream?”  He answered, “When you awake, look not to the right or left.  Do not look behind.  Look straight ahead and your answer will be there.”  When I awoke, there was a cross on the wall directly ahead of me.  It remained there until the day we moved, when it disappeared as magically as it had appeared.

Excerpt from Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher, Debra Shiveley Welch, Saga Books: Chapter 9 “The Forgotten.”

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