This silver bird takes me ‘cross the sky
Just one more hour and I’ll be home and dry
‘Cross the ocean, way above the clouds I come stealing
Feeling tired, but I feel good
‘Cause I did everything I said I would
I think of you and I know how you’ll be feeling

I got to see you, I got to be with you
We’ll make it better now in every way
It’s got to be you, it’s got to be you
Yes, from now on I’ll tell you every day

Way up here, above this timeless sea
I realize just what it is you mean to me
You give me something when I thought that everything we had was dying
I needed reason just to make me carry on
Well, I know better now, I know where I belong
I can’t imagine how I ever let myself just give up trying

Gerry Rafferty- Home & Dry from the album City to City

What a day. It begins when I hear from a mother from HPH who messaged me repeatedly yesterday threatening suicide and telling me she had run away from home. I reached out to others to see if they could reach out to her. I tried calling. She refused to answer. I messaged her she was needed here and left it in God’s hands. It was all I could do. She stopped messaging me. This morning, she sheepishly tells me she is still here and apologizes for what she put me through. I shame her thoroughly. I take any talk of suicide very seriously. Was she just seeking attention? Possibly. It’s not for me to take that for granted though. I tell her that she is needed, that she has responsibilities here yet. She’s been through hell in her life. I know people who have endured things that most of us can’t even imagine. When I’ve marveled at her bravery, she has told me that she had to endure these things to develop the empathy she’s developed. I tell her again, we signed up for this. We must endure. I give her the key to my survival, one day at a time. I don’t have to make it years, or months, or weeks. When I’m feeling the way she was feeling, I set my site on hours. I just need to make it until tonight. If I can make it until tonight, I can fall into bed, fall asleep, and start over tomorrow. I can always make it until tonight.

Tywana’s mother is moving today. She’s spent five years in independent living in a retirement center around the corner from us. That’s probably five years longer than she should have been in independent living. But, the time of scraping by has come to an end and it’s time to move her downstairs where someone can keep a closer eye on her 24×7. She’s not happy about it and she lets us know. Tywana has to take off half a day of work to help her make the move. All in all, it’s over eight hours of helping her move, rearranging her room, going to Costco to buy a refrigerator for her, delivering the refrigerator to her, etc. She’s in rare form today, complaining about life, asking twenty times in twenty minutes why Tywana has decided to move her down here, asking which floor she is currently on, asking which floor she has just come from, and asking who I am. She’s on a loop. This is the first time she has not recognized me. It’s understandable. I rarely visit her here, only to come to deliver something or fix something. She comes to our house. I’m also wearing a hat and coat since it’s literally 0º out. So, unfamiliar surroundings coupled with me in “disguise”. I understand why she’s having trouble placing me.

In between all the questions is the complaint. “I don’t know why I am still here. I can’t wait until the Good Lord calls me.” And, there are words thrown in that I didn’t know she even knew. She is cussing like a sailor. This is not the mild-mannered, soft-spoken woman I’ve known for over three decades. Dementia and depression have turned her into someone she would be ashamed of. All she wants is to be Home. Everyone tries to convince her she’s living in a great place. And, she is. The food is good. There are all kinds of activities. She’s loved by the residents and the staff. But, she wants to be Home and Dry. Nothing else will do. I fell ya, Margaret. I do.

When we get home, Tywana heads upstairs for some alone time. I can’t blame her. It’s been a hard day. Her mother is miserable and she’s had to spend the day listening to her complain while Tywana is sacrificing money (from not working) and time to help her. Margaret is convinced she can go back to Springfield and live on her own. But, she doesn’t lift a finger to move into her own place. It can be frustrating if you forget this isn’t really the Margaret we know.

The thing that makes us think we can’t make it is we think it will be like this “forever”. And, we know we cannot endure this pain forever. That causes us to seek an immediate end. I don’t blame my friend for wanting to kill herself. I don’t blame Margaret for wanting to go Home. Who the hell doesn’t want to go Home? I think of it every single day. I have suicidal thoughts. I also want an end. I tell this to my friend who’s been contemplating suicide. But, this is part of the plan. I’m on a mission. We’re all on a mission. We are walking each other back home, to mix metaphors with the Gerry Rafferty lyrics I opened with. I suppose he wrong this song while on the road thinking about having done his gigs and returning to his sweetie in the physical. But, when I listen to it 40 years after he performed it, I think about being on the return trip from my (completed) mission and seeing my sweetie.

To my fellow travelers who are just as weary as I am, hang in there. Nothing in this life lasts forever. Savor the good, because it’s fleeting. Endure the pain because it’s temporary. One day soon we’ll be Home and Dry.

p.s.- In my dreams after the stressful day, I’m playing golf again. I play golf often in my dreams. But, the physics are weird and we play on crazy courses. I’m with my friend Irene and we’re teeing off. Instead of the ball being on the ground, it sits on a tee that brings it up to almost chest high- like kids teeball. The driver is short but it’s still nearly impossible for me to play from this type of tee. Normally, I just try but today I say “Let’s look for a course where the tees are on the ground and we don’t have to tee off from indoors.”. While we’re looking around, I notice the pro shop. I want to buy some new clubs. But, I know I’m not spending money on frivolous stuff right now. Then, I realize that I’m on the “other side”. I know that if I think about this too much, I’ll wake up. But, I manage to stay in the dream a while longer. I can spend money here because here money is unlimited. I don’t have to be miserly. I’ll buy the clubs now and I’ll have them for the next time I’m back to play. I notice they are giving a lecture on the various brands that are available. I’m going to sit in. I look at some pretty amazing putters while I’m waiting. And, I look forward to coming back.

Last night’s dreamscape was interesting, to say the least. A couple of days ago, as in two, I started using Hemi-Sync meditations. Does this have anything to do with the dreams? Maybe.

It’s hard to describe some dreams because there is no physical reality in this plane where it’s possible. This is one of those dreams. In my dream, I was on a giant slide that was filled with meats that were grilling. I was sliding down the slide, as in a video game, passing the meats and unsticking them from the grill with a spatula as I went by. I noticed a nice fat juicy lobster and grabbed it for myself. When I got to the end of the slide, I sliced it down the middle and took off the head. Just then, it came alive and started trying to pinch me with its pincers. I was confused. People kept saying “Kill it. You’re torturing the poor thing.” But, I had sliced it down the middle and it was headless. I explained to them, I couldn’t be torturing it and it couldn’t be feeling anything because it was headless.

Fast forward. Next dream. I’m in a church like setting. Maybe a gymnasium in a church. Thomas John is there. I don’t know what he was wearing up top. His pants were loose black pants, like nylon sweats (I don’t imagine Thomas would ever wear nylon sweats. But, it’s a dream) I noticed that there was mud streaked up the back of his pants as if he had come running to the venue across a puddled parking lot. Thomas was teaching a class on raising your vibration. As he started speaking, it was almost as if he started speaking in tongues or chanting. People around the room were going full Pentecostal with raised, hands, swaying back and forth, shouting, the whole nine yards. I refused to be caught up in the moment. I remained analytical and kept up my skepticism. But, I could feel a vibration rising up in me. I looked down and my hands were shifting from my hands to other people’s hands and back, as I held them together in front of me- old, young, black, white, shifting. Again, I told myself to not be persuaded by the hype around me and to see if I genuinely felt something. I started involuntarily swaying back and forth. I said to myself there is something legitimate about Thomas. I could palpably feel my vibration rising.

This morning, the first thing I saw when I turned on my iPad was a message from someone asking me “How well do you know Thomas John the ‘Seatbelt Psychic’ guy?”. He went on to ask me if I think Thomas is legit. The message was time-stamped at 11:34 PM last night. Because I do some work for Thomas, I get this question every so often. I’ve tested Thomas in a blind test. I’ve watched him work. I observe him very closely, as I do the other mediums I’ve worked with. I’ve never dreamt about Thomas before though. I went to bed at 10 and turned off the lights around 10:30. This message came in at 11:30, while I was sleeping. After the dream, it was pretty easy to answer. Cue the Twilight Zone music.

This has been the week from hell, again. Two steps forward and one step back seems the way it goes or maybe it’s 1-1/2 steps forward and one step back. I’ve just completed Joe Dispenza’s book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” and while I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I was fully expecting for life to throw more challenges at me just as I’m trying to incorporate these new habits into my life- being grateful, expecting the best, knowing the Universe is working with me, etc. All of these are major changes from the way I have been programmed. If things were going well, it’d be challenging enough.

I feel like things are opening up. There’s the metaphor, the light at the end of the tunnel. This is more like a bunch of lights, pinpricks, against a dark background. I can see them out there and they might be getting closer. I have many opportunities in the embryonic stage. Some are public, some soon to be announced. Surely, from all of these one or more will emerge as successful. So, meantime, I try to wait patiently, putting my intention out there and trusting that it will be delivered in ways that are surprising to me. This is what Dr. Dispenza teaches. Every time one of these pops up seemingly out of nowhere, I wonder “Will this be the one?” 

This week one of the organizations I volunteer for has made a couple of decisions that I disagree with, one I strongly disagree with. This decision has already broken one heart. It will break another. I work with the groups I work with because we’re supposed to be spiritual. We’re supposed to be about healing and forgiveness and grace. We are supposed to know that Earth is a school and that we all make mistakes. But, when you get more than a few people in an organization, and when you get lawyers and money involved, all the spiritual stuff goes right out of the window. For an example, see just about any church. Many years ago I became good friends with a pastor on staff at the Vineyard. When I learned his annual objectives and goals were as rigid as any I had working for IBM, I realized that even most churches are just businesses. So, I shouldn’t be surprised by this decision. I’m not. I’m disappointed. 

Finances aren’t getting any better. I’m taking on part-time, entry-level work to close the gap. It’s not what I pictured myself doing at 57 years old. But, I’ll do what it takes. Ego won’t keep me from doing whatever it takes. The work isn’t grueling. I can do it from home. I’m grateful for that. Yet, I’d rather be doing my own thing. And that leads to some of the frustration. People keep telling me I should do my own thing. I should write a book. As a friend said last night “need to put you in the spotlight, not behind the camera.” I love the encouragement. I’m working on making that happen. Right now, those opportunities, those points of light are still distant, they are faint, but they’re out there.

Last night as I closed my eyes, I was exhausted but I could not sleep. I think I got a total of about three hours. Everything that is going wrong kept swirling in my head. I couldn’t make it stop. I went within to meet with my Team. I told them, “Take me now. A stroke would be good. I don’t want to do this anymore”. Their response “This is an opportunity. You wanted to learn. This is your chance to learn. What’s going well for you?” Well, I’ve developed this tool of knowing how to turn within. I’m grateful that I’ve learned how to cope. I was knocked way off center earlier this evening. But, I’m focused now. I’m healthy. I have a warm bed to sleep in. I have enough to make it through tomorrow and many tomorrows. I have friends who care. I have skills. I’ve shown I can easily get work if I really need to. I’m not doing what I want but I’ve landed several jobs in the last couple of months. Baby step. I agreed to stay. They told me to hang in a little longer. It will get better. That reminds me of a dream I had last week. I was with Tywana and Kayla, sitting around a table. Shayna was there in spirit. I could see her. Then, I was lying down. She took her finger, opened an incision in my chest, reached in and touched my heart. She asked me if I was ready to come Home. I looked at Tywana and Kayla and reluctantly said “Not now.” Then, I was awake.

I woke up this morning with not a single circumstance changed. But, as I was thinking about one of my jobs, creating memes, I came up with this image that I created to be the featured image of this post. When there is no way, make a way. I’ll keep inventing and reinventing ways forward until I break through whatever tries to stand in my way.

Some themes have run through my dreams for decades.  One is driving a car with very little control. Either I can’t open my eyes, or I’m driving it remotely with my mind and really can’t see it, or the car just isn’t handling right. The other is being in school or a work situation where I’m supposed to take a test or make a presentation, and I’ve never been in the class before. I have no clue what to do. As I enter the dreamscape tonight, I have two very familiar dreams, but significantly different. Instead of a lack of control, there’s this feeling I’m starting to gain some control.

In the first dream, I’m hanging out with an old neighbor from childhood. Tony Merrill lived across the street from me and was about four years older I think. I remember him having nice cars before I could drive. In this dream, he’s got an old restored Pontiac in mint condition. It has red and white leather seats. The interior is decked out with modern features though. It’s beautiful. He insists that I take it for a ride along with a mutual friend who is at his house. I would never drive someone else’s prized possession, but he insists. He’s got it rigged to a hidden switch in the garage that must be flipped or the car won’t even start. He flips the switch, hands me the key fob and I climb in and nervously and slowly pull out of the garage where I promptly sideswipe another car in the driveway putting what I’m sure is a long scratch down the driver’s side door. Then, I run the front bumper into another vehicle in the driveway. I can only imagine the dent in the fender as I get a sick feeling in my stomach. As I pull out into traffic, I ding another parked car. I think I can never go back and face him again. I’m despondent. What am I going to do? Then, I realize it’s all going to be OK. It’s only a dream. I don’t have to go back. I’ll wake up soon. I might as well see where this goes.

People come out into the street in front of me and start taunting me. They’re blocking me from going forward. They’re pointing out the dents in the car. They won’t move. But, I know it’s only a dream, and they aren’t real, so I just hit the accelerator and drive through them. I end up at a house where I go in, and there’s a party going on. I end up in the den where there are all of these unusual aquariums on the wall. I begin looking at the fish, identifying them, just hanging out waiting to wake up. This is where the dream ends.

Last week, when I had my Akashic records reading Barbara Reed asked me if I ever have lucid dreams. They are extremely rare for me.

In the second dream, I’m in school. There’s an old IBM work friend in class with me. I don’t know anyone else in the class. We have the assignment to do a presentation. Unlike the vast majority of my dreams, I know this assignment and I’m prepared. I’m a morning person. And, I like getting things out of the way. But, I’ve been assigned the very last time slot, which is stressing me out a bit. The presentations go on all day every day, Monday-Friday, and I have the 4 o’clock Friday time slot. As other people are making their presentations, I notice they have all used the same software to prepare them. It’s a version of PowerPoint I’ve never seen. There are animated characters in their presentations, sound effects, voiceovers. They are all amazing. But, I don’t feel intimidated. I admire their work and I ask them what they used to create it. I notice that the effects are less and less impressive with each presentation because they are all so similar.  I’m confident with my presentation. It won’t be like theirs, but I like my story. When my turn to present finally comes around, I realize I am wearing a shirt and no pants- pretty typical for one of my dreams. I look up, and there’s my dresser. I calmly walk over to it, pull out a pair of shorts that matches my shirt, put it on and give my presentation.

My amateur analysis… In the first dream, I am in my typical out-of-control situation driving this car. I’m incompetent and screwing it up. The difference though is I relaxed into it realizing that the damage was only temporary. I would wake up, and none of it would matter. So, I just went with it to see where it would go.

The second dream could be a direct effect of a workshop I took last night. I took a writing workshop with Tricia Barker, an English major and Near Death Experiencer. The day before I took a writing class with George Kao. George’s take was “just knock it out.” Get a book out; you can fix it later. Self-publish. Just get it done. Tricia’s approach is, take a year to write the manuscript, another year having people look at it, find a publisher, have it edited some more. Tricia was talking about vehicles to use in your writing, how to hook people, editing down (and down and down), etc. My head was spinning after listening to such different advice from one person who has published several books and another who has a contract to have her book published in the Spring. The message I got from the dream was to do my own thing. I don’t need to worry about doing it perfectly or doing it like everyone else. I need to be comfortable delivering my message my way. And, even though I wasn’t quite prepared at the time of the presentation (no pants), the wardrobe appeared and my shorts were there.

 

Last night’s dreamscape featured three dreams, two variations on old themes. In the first dream, I find myself back at my office at IBM, my first sales job out of school. I’m on the Ashland account, the first account I was put on in training. Then, I was part of a team. In my dream, the account is mine alone. I’ve just found out some servers have been installed in the account and I’m happy because I’m finally going to get a commission check. The territory has not been going well. Not only have I feared for my job, I’ve been making no money and I know that sooner IBM or I will have to decide whether I stay in this job. My boss has decided though that I not involved enough in the sale and is trying to justify holding my commissions back. His office is a multi-room office and as I sit in one room, he’s yelling at me from the other room as he moves about doing whatever it is he’s doing. I’m making the case that if I’m responsible when the customer doesn’t buy, I’m also entitled to the commission when the customer does buy. I think I’m winning the argument, but it’s hard to say. I might get paid on this deal, but it doesn’t make me safe long term.

Back to the real world; I have been in sales for over 30 years at this point, most of the time, including now- 100% commission sales. If no one buys, I don’t get paid. I’ve heard that job-related stress is proportional to the ratio between the amount of responsibility you have versus the amount of control. That would make commission sales one of the highest stress jobs possible. There’s no safety net. You have 100% responsibility for bringing in the money. However, whether you get paid is not based at all on what you do. You can work 100 hours a week. You can crank out proposals. You can wine and dine. You get paid when other people take an action though; an action you cannot force them to take.

In the next dream, I find myself in the car dream again. This time there is some sort of remote controlled car I use to get back and forth to work. The concept is I’m in the car and it drives itself most of the way. As a passenger, I cannot even see outside of the car. There’s an opaque shade that covers the windshield. All I have to do is ride. But, at some point on the ride, the system announces that I’m in control and I’m supposed to navigate the rest of the way home. I’ve been doing this for days or weeks. However, I’ve never understood exactly how it works. When it announces I’m in control, I’m still in the car with my eyes closed and I somehow end up at home. On this particular day when it makes the announcement “The navigation system is shutting down, you are in control.” I realize I can’t rely on luck to get me home. I have no idea how I’ve been doing it, but I have to do something different. I struggle to open my eyes for the first time and I find the steering wheel. As I look towards the windshield, the visor that covers it lowers and I can see the landscape in front of me. I take the wheel and start driving for the first time, avoiding the obstacles that I’ve been miraculously missing the other nights when the navigation system had shut down and no one was driving.

The last dream of the evening, I’m at a gathering of people and someone asks me if I’m a professional speaker. I am not. I tell them I have given a few talks before, in a past life (in sales). They ask me if I’d be interested in speaking at the next Helping Parents Heal conference. There is a meeting coming up to plan the conference and they’d like me to attend the meeting. I go to the meeting which is a rehearsal of sorts.They’re handing out the program that will be used. There are celebrities gathered, superstar rock groups will be performing. It’s going to be a really big deal.

Monday night, Jamie Clark (the medium) told me that Shayna said to expect a visit from her. Today, Kayla comes for a visit for the first time in several months. So, there is a visit from Kayla. It is also the day that I am wrapping up one part-time gig and starting another. I have meetings scheduled back-to-back most of the day, one with my advertising team for Treasured Locks, one with the SoulPhone/Greater Reality Living team, one training for my new job, and finally, one with the author and the focus group that I’m co-leading. In between, I’m trying to get some work done.  Weird things happen all day. The video I’m trying to render keeps failing. Not once, twice, or three times, it fails at least four. This has never happened.  Finally, I have to give up and put up the raw footage. I cannot log into the account for my new gig. The password is correct, but Google, in its infinite wisdom has chosen to block me. I try every trick I know. I try Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. I clear cookies. I try from my phone. I turn wifi off and try from my phone again. I try from my iPad. I spend all afternoon Googling it. I have never seen this message from Google before, and I have at least seven different Google accounts for myself and various organizations I support. Finally, I have to give that up, too.

Kayla arrives, and we have a nice dinner with her. She wanted salmon and roasted vegetables. So, that’s what we have. I take my last meeting of the day, from nine to ten PM.  We stay up with her for a while and head to bed around midnight.

Since Shayna crossed over, she loves to mess with stuff. She has temporarily disabled my computer (that cost me two days of work, and I thought I was going to have to buy a new machine). She has temporarily disabled an outlet. I was on the way to buy a new one and had called someone to replace it when  I decided to try it one more time, and it started working. Tuesday, the refrigerator started making weird noises and seemed not to be cooling. I found the number to call for repair. Wednesday, the noise stopped, and it’s working fine. Today is Thursday, three days after Jamie says she’s going to visit. For the first time in months, the ceiling fan decides to do its thing. As we are about to turn off the light, Tywana has picked up the remote but has not hit the button, when the light starts to get brighter and dim, up and down it goes as if someone is pressing the dimmer switch on the remote. This goes on for a good minute, on its own. I take the remote from Tywana, press and hold the dimmer button. The light stops going up and down, but now it’s just on dim. No other buttons will work. The fan will not slow down or speed up. It won’t go off. The light doesn’t do anything when I press the button. We decide it’s dim enough that we can fall asleep. I figure maybe the battery has died and surged right before it died. But, this doesn’t make sense because the light on the remote that indicates a button is being pressed is still working. After we give up, close our eyes and try to get to sleep, Tywana tries it one more time, and it works. The light goes off.

I fall into a fitful sleep worried about how things are going to go with the new job if I can’t get logged in. They won’t be able to hire me. I’m still trying to solve the problem as I enter dreamland where I find myself in a weird store that is an amalgamation of a bank, a department store, and a grocery store. Tywana is loading groceries into the cart and I’m just thinking about how much everything costs. How many bananas does she need? There are at least five pounds. I don’t say anything. But, I’m worried about how much all this costs. I try to take money out of the ATM, $30. I get a receipt for $30.30, but no money comes out. I hope I’m not charged. I move on to where I’m going to buy something. To use my credit card, there is this giant retinal scan machine that I have to press my eyes into these goggle-like cups while standing with my feet spread apart like you have to with the full body scans at the airport. There’s a security guard instructing me how to use this contraption. Stand here. Press your eyes there. My card works, but it’s then I realize I was charged the $30.30 from the ATM. So, I walk back over there to see if my money has come out. Someone asks me if I’m looking for the $100 that was left at the ATM.  No, I tell them I am looking for $30. They say it’s in a basket. There is this table loaded with stuff that has been left.  It’s in basket 17. As I’m looking for basket 17, just as I find it, I feel a hand on my shoulder.  It’s someone grasping my shoulder like they’re standing behind me. I turn, and no one is there. I sense Shayna’s presence, and I think this is my first manifestation of her physically. I don’t see her, but I felt her. Then I realize this is just a dream. When I wake I wonder is this the visit Shayna promised through Jamie?

In tonight’s adventure, I’m a helicopter pilot. My recurring dream is of driving cars. Either I can’t control the car, I can’t see or both. A helicopter, this is a first. Tywana and I have just been on vacation and we’re flying a helicopter back home. I’m flying it. She’s supposed to be my co-pilot.  It’s night.  I’m flying low.  I remember flying over a ski resort and seeing the ski lifts.  She’s on the telephone the entire time instead of helping me navigate, but I make it to the airport where we are supposed to land.

Then, I remember, I am a new pilot. This is my first solo flight. And I’ve completely forgotten all my training. I know I’m supposed to look at the altimeter and the instrument that shows whether I’m level or not, but I cannot remember where they are or how to read them. I can’t recall how to control the altitude. Do I push forward, or pull back? I’m flying strictly by feel. I panic for a moment because I don’t know how I’m going to land this thing. Then, I remember I somehow took off and flew all the way here. I should be able to land it.

I start searching for where I’m supposed to land. I have no clue. I look over at Tywana. Now, she’s passed out. Something with the altitude. She’s got altitude sickness. I’m going to have to do this on my own. I use my headset to call for help. But, I can’t remember my call sign or the protocol for talking to the tower. After sending out a short message, I decide to just try it on my own.

I’ll put it down wherever I find a spot. They can move it later. This is life or death. I’ve been circling for a while trying to make a decision and it dawns on me I’m probably running low on fuel. But, I can’t remember how to read the fuel gauge.

I come in for a landing. It’s nice and smooth. I try to wake Tywana. She’s really out of it. I get her to her feet and we start walking away. Dad meets us in the parking lot. Then, we remember that in all of the excitement we forgot to get our luggage off of the helicopter. We start walking back. I wake up.

Today, I’m having a talk with a good friend, one of many people in my life who is helping me along the way. I’ve been blessed with meeting some incredible people since Shayna’s passing. He’s an extremely busy person, but he takes time to talk to me. I’m telling my friend about the sermon I heard at Unity of Phoenix over two years ago.  I remember it so well. The title was “It’s Hell In The Hallway”. The hall refers to the time/space we are in between the time when God closes one door and opens another. I refer to this sermon constantly. I’m sure I’ve written about it. I know I was meant to be there that Sunday. I felt like I was in the hallway then and I’m still in the hallway now. He and I toss around ideas for the business. He’s a published author and gives me encouragement on my writing and advice on how to get to where I want to go with it. He’s a phenomenal medium and tells me about a reading he’s done recently just to give me encouragement this spiritual stuff is real and it’s all going to be OK. Just as I’m telling him I have to go because I have a friend picking me up for lunch, I look out the window and see a butterfly playing in the yard. The butterfly is the same type that was following me a couple of days ago and landed in a tree right next to me where it stayed while I approached it and touched it. I tell him about it and I hang up the phone with no silver bullets for anything but feeling encouraged that I can do this and gratitude that I have the assistance I have along the way. I go out into the yard and shoot some video of the butterfly playing. After our conversation, I have more baby steps to take, more things in my action plan. That’s all I can do for now. I go to lunch, come back and chip away at my to do list.

When I turn in for the night, I am exhausted more than usual. I didn’t sleep well last night. The pressure has been getting to me. The frustration is building. At least when I’m asleep, there is some escape. I quickly fall into a deep sleep and find myself in a familiar dream.

I’m in an airport. I’ve just gotten off of a plane. I’m looking for my luggage. My luggage doesn’t come around the carousel. It’s lost. I remember it’s a gigantic black bag. I also remember that I arrived at sometime around 2 o’clock in the afternoon and that my flight out is at 5:45.  I know I’m in Detroit and I know I’m flying to Cincinnati. This is all very odd because normally in my traveling dreams, I have no idea where I’m coming from, where I’m going to, or what time my flight is. I don’t realize it’s a dream though. I am frustrated in the dream because I cannot locate my luggage. I also don’t have a ticket for my next flight. I’m trying to find an agent to help me locate my luggage and buy a ticket but the lines are very long and I can’t get to anyone. Time passes and my flight is leaving in about 45 minutes. I still have located my bag, still haven’t bought the ticket. I look up and all of the agents lined up behind the counter are elderly, at least in their 80s. They’re also all on a break. They are just sitting there talking amongst themselves while the passengers are lined up in front of them, frustrated. I make a comment about my frustration, saying “I can’t believe no one will help me find my bag and get me on this flight. To my surprise, one of the agents overhears me and jumps into action. “Can you describe your bag to me?” I tell her it a gigantic black bag with a name tag on it. Several of them go into a back room. They come out a few seconds later with my bag. They sell me a ticket and I’m going to make my flight.  Then, I wake up.

The commonalities in this dream and my others are I’m traveling and I’m frustrated. But, I know where I’m going, where I’m coming from, and I even have some sense of time. This is new. Please let this be a sign that a door is about to open.

Every once in a while I hit what I feel is a brick wall.  Yesterday afternoon was one of those times. It just came on me. What I’m doing is not working. I’ve got to do something different, now. I’ve been working, and working, and working some more trying to turn the business around.  I never have any less than three major projects going at a time. These are not small tweaks, but major overhauls.  I’m looking for signs from angels and guides. I’m doing guided meditations. I’m doing affirmations. But, the thoughts always come “Am I doing the right thing?  Isn’t this supposed to be easy when you’re in ‘the flow’?”  Today, I throw my hands up. I’m done. A few days ago my friend asked if I had thought about selling the business.  Yeah. Maybe if I had some other skill.  I can’t retire right now. I’m pretty sure trying to make a living as an Uber driver isn’t the way I want to go. I can’t give up.  But, I sure want to give up. When I hit these points, I try something else. I take an hour and compose an email. The idea for it’s been forming for a while. I was going to create it as an ad. I fire it out to the 20,650 people on our email list.  Maybe I can entice a few of them into buying something.

I rarely share these thoughts with Tywana. I don’t want to burden her with it, but I know I’m in a foul mood and if I don’t it’ll just come out directed at her since she’s the only one around.  As always, she gives me encouragement. I set this aside, for now, we make dinner, watch a little TV, and head off to bed.

During the night, the thoughts are swirling again.  I know I’m OK for now. Thankfully, during the good years, we put aside a fair amount of money, for retirement. We’re not desperate. I know I’ll be OK, in the long term. You can’t take money with you. There’s no point in hoarding it. I just need enough to get from here to there. That’s where the fear enters. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been taught that success comes with hard work and talent. I know I’m working hard. And, at the risk of sounding immodest, I’m pretty talented when it comes to my business.

I wake up with the image of a fork in the road. One the left path is the path I’ve been on. The right path is unknown. Literally, I have no idea what I would do if this business doesn’t turn around. But, sitting across the road is a brick wall. I’m blocked from taking either path. What do I do? Then, the image of the Thai boys who were just rescued from the cave comes to mind. They were trapped in a cave over a mile underground and several miles from the nearest entrance. There was water between them and the entrance, miles of swimming underwater with scuba gear. They had no way out. So, what did they do when there was nothing to do? They sat. Their leader had studied Buddhism and meditation. They kept themselves calm and they waited for their rescue. And, they were rescued.  Panicking would have done them no good. When you’ve done all you can do, you stay calm and you wait. I’ve decided that, for now, I have to be like the boys in the cave. I’ve been doing, doing, doing. I need to take a beat and see what happens, wait for some of the seeds I’ve planted to grow.

So, as this post was coming together in my head, I had the image of the fork in the road and a brick wall to use as the featured image. That was the initial image I had in mind. I thought about using the Thai boyscouts also. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find an image of a brick wall on a road, so I was thinking about Photoshopping one together.  I decide to jump on Facebook and the second post I see has this image.

I spent this weekend at my sister-in-law’s house in West Virginia, my mother’s place of birth. Family was on my mind as I was with my wife’s family gathered to celebrate my nephew’s upcoming wedding. My birth family was in Chicago at a family reunion. Friday night, I had one of my weird dreams that I won’t publish, but it’s one of the dreams where I’m being embarrassed by creating a mess. My goal in the dream is to keep others from finding out about it. My family, who were gathered with me in West Virginia were just outside and I was trying to get things cleaned up before I was exposed. I have had variations of this dream since I was a child. The dream was semi-lucid in that during the dream, I realized it was just a dream and was able to relax a bit because I knew as soon as I woke up, none of them would know what they had seen in the dream. As I took my walk this morning, I was listening to a podcast about lucid dreaming and the significance of this dream came to me. A big fear of mine is being exposed as a failure.

Then, I had a dream about Granddaddy.  My mother’s father lived with us for a short time before he passed away suddenly in 1968. I don’t recall ever dreaming about him before. Granddaddy’s death had a profound impact on me because I was 7 years old when he passed. He had gone back to West Virginia to visit. I was in Columbus. The story I heard is that he stood up in church to give his testimony and while he was testifying, he had a massive heart attack and died. From my 7-year-old perspective, he had simply disappeared.  He left the house and never returned. This is when I began to question the safety of this universe and the compassion of God. How could he be here one minute and gone the next? Why didn’t God protect him? He was obviously a good man, he died in church. If you’re not safe in church, where are you safe? Granddaddy’s death played a huge role in how I perceived the world and still does, 50 years later. In my dream, I saw his face clearly. He spoke to me. I don’t recall what he said. I don’t remember him well, mostly from pictures. I did see him clearly though. He appeared to be the same age as he was when he passed. I got the impression that the anniversary of his death was coming up. I woke up wondering if maybe he had died on this day all those years ago. I couldn’t even remember the year he passed.

My father has an online family tree. I don’t know how to get to it. I thought of texting my brother and asking him to look up the date that Grandaddy died. But, he was in Chicago with his family. It could wait. I’ll wait to text him when he gets back home. How wild would it be if I had that dream on the anniversary of Granddaddy’s passing?

Well, it would be wild, but it was not to be.  This is not the anniversary of Granddaddy’s passing. When I got back home I got onto Facebook and was scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw this picture posted by my cousin. We share this grandfather, but she never met him since he was gone long before she was born.  Granddaddy didn’t die in July. I had the dream on July 27th.  He passed on October 20. But, there is an anniversary coming up. It was October 20, 1968. This October it will be 50 years. 50 years since I last saw him. What I know now is his death wasn’t a death at all. God didn’t let him down that day in church, God took him Home. While he disappeared from my life, he did not disappear, he was given what he had been looking forward to. It was his time.

So, there was no magic of having this dream on the actual anniversary of his death. But, I do think it’s pretty amazing that I was thinking about his passing and before I could find out from my brother what the date of his passing was my question was answered by this post from my cousin.