No, this is not a post about Les Miserables ... although I would like to see that movie sometime soon. I don't think I'll be able to drag Brad to it ... musicals are not exactly his thing. I may just wait until it comes out on video and watch it all by myself on my couch in front of the fire in my pajama pants. Sounds like the perfect evening to me!
I've only dreamed about Hannah twice since she went to Heaven in February of 2009. In the first dream, which was not long after her death, she actually didn't appear ... It was just Bethany and I roaming through the forests of Heaven looking for her. Sounds strange, I know, but the striking thing about that dream is that we weren't in any hurry to find her. We knew we had all of eternity ahead of us, so there was no urgency in our search. We were just enjoying the hunt, and talking about what it would be like when we found her.
The second time was in July of 2010. I remember the date because I blogged about it. In that dream, she was sitting on her bed, healthy and whole, and we just talked for awhile. I couldn't even remember what we talked about ... but I did remember the overwhelming joy of hearing her voice and seeing the glow of Heaven on her face.
I've always wished I would dream about her more. It's a yearning that's hard to describe. I've even asked God to give me dreams about her from time to time,but in His providence, He has not seen fit to grant that request.
Until last weekend, that is. We were spending the night at my parents' house, where we had been enjoying some post-Christmas family time before the break ended. I awoke with a start early on Sunday morning, my head filled with a dream about Hannah. She and I had had a long and detailed conversation, and it was all very clear in my head. I laid awake and reveled in the memory of my dream ... I could see her and hear her and smell her and feel her ... almost as if she were in the room with me. If I had been at home, I probably would've gotten up and written down the details of the dream, just to be sure I wouldn't forget them. But I didn't want to get up and disturb everyone, and it was close to morning, so I decided I'd just stay awake and review it over and over in my mind to make sure I remembered it all.
And then I fell asleep! And when I woke up a few hours later, I didn't even remember that I'd had a dream! It wasn't until later that morning, when Bethany started to tell me about a dream she'd had, that it all came rushing back to me. Well, not all ... sadly, I remembered only bits and pieces of it. But those bits and pieces were enough to bring me great joy.
Just like in the last dream, Hannah was healthy and beautiful, strong and confident. She appeared to be the age she should be now -- about 21 years old. There was an exquisite glow about her that is impossible to describe in words. She spoke with a peace and wisdom that was remarkable. If only I could remember everything she said! This much I do remember ... I asked her to tell me what Heaven was like, and she smiled (almost condescendingly) and said that our language did not have adequate words to describe it. She assured me that it was beyond anything I could imagine and that she was very happy there. I remember feeling as if I were the child and she were the parent, because of the authority with which she spoke. The other details of our conversation are unfortunately lost to my memory.
Here's the other striking thing about the dream. I knew the whole time I was talking to her that she wasn't here to stay ... that she was going to have to return to Heaven when our long conversation ended. And, amazingly, I was okay with that. I didn't feel the need to cling to her and beg her to stay. I knew she needed to go back ... that Heaven is her real home now ... and that I had no claim on her.
Do I think that Hannah actually appeared and spoke to me? Absolutely not. This was a dream, and nothing more. But I do believe this dream was a gift from God, and I am so grateful for it. And I've also come to realize that the very rarity of these dreams about Hannah may also be a gift. If I had dreams like this all the time, I'm sure I wouldn't appreciate them as much. As it is, each time I dream a dream of Hannah, it is a treasure to be savored. So, even if it takes another year and a half, I'm sure it will be worth the wait.