This morning I dreamed that Sampson was home. It was a soft, quiet dream, untouched by the frantic edge of anxiety-driven nightmares and the brain-bending surreality of those weird dreams whose true bizarreness is only apparent upon recalling them with waking memory. My unconscious mind sketched a cozy, domestic scene this time: just us, sleepily spooning on a couch while watching some mildly interesting show about a massive bookstore on TV.
“I am so glad you’re home. This is perfect,” I murmured, and he pulled me closer.
“I know, it’s great. Couch naps rock,” he said, kissing my neck. “Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Nestled warm and secure and utterly content in his embrace, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
And the dream faded.
And I woke up, alone in our bed, the morning light of the real world sneaking in through the windows to remind me that my husband is still deployed, still thousands of miles and several time zones away from being able to indulge in a lazy afternoon nap with me. Not fair, I thought, muzzily attempting to reconcile the dream’s feeling of solidity with the waking evidence that my husband had been present only in the private universe of REM sleep. Not nice.
It was nice, though. Even the twinge of disappointment that it was just a dream does not cast an irredeemable pall over the tranquility and joy at the heart of my sleeping brain’s creation. Even though he is oceans and continents away, I experience Sampson’s love as a strong and daily presence in my emotional life. My dream this morning, however fleetingly, let me feel as though he were physically by my side.
I miss him very much. Very often my waking thoughts of Sampson’s return focus on the excitement and emotional high of his future homecoming. While wonderful and special and all that good stuff, those dizzy heights are not our favorite part of a reunion. My dream this morning vividly reminded me of all the quieter pleasures to which we can look forward upon his return.
“Ready the couch for the best afternoon nap ever” is definitely getting added to my pre-homecoming checklist.