A former boss, Cindy Medley, who was also a wonderful friend passed away last December. She was, to those of us who knew her, extraordinary. I won’t repeat what I’ve already said about her in my blog post last month after her passing, but I do want to tell you about something that happened last Sunday night. It involves her, and it’s not what I think of as an isolated case.
I fell asleep and dreamed I was back in college at GVSU. I was taking some sort of class in the old video studio there, only my husband was with me, which is odd since we weren’t in college at the same time. Still, he was there. The other students—who were of all ages—aren’t ones who I recognized, so they could have been anyone. Anyway, Cindy walked through the door as a fellow student in the class, and it was as if all was as it should be, as if this was completely normal.
The dream skipped forward a bit from one class to the next, and it was announced during one period that Cindy wouldn’t be joining us, that she had passed away. Everybody in the class was extremely upset, and it was like reliving the grief of losing her all over again. Another student came in a short time later carrying a scrapbook, told us all that it was Cindy’s, and had been left behind for us because it mentioned us all in it.
People passed it around one at a time, each looked at it, smiled, grieved, cried, laughed, the whole gamut of emotions, then passed it on to the next person. Finally, a young woman brought it over to my husband and I, looked at me, and said “Cindy wrote something very sweet about you in here.”
I opened the book, and discovered that instead of there just being pages to flip through, there were pockets, and bits that unfolded to create complex pictures and pages easily twice their size. My husband remarked “I didn’t know these opened up like this!” There were also scribblings all over the place, notes, and comments. We looked at a few of the pages, and, sure enough, there was a comment written down about me. I wish I could remember what it said, but I don’t. The feeling is that it was very sweet, very nice.
There was something else too. The book smelled exactly like the perfume she used to wear. I couldn’t tell you what it was, and it’s just beyond my memory now, but it was there. It surrounded me. And I knew it was hers. I knew she was there in spirit.
I woke up bawling my eyes out.
There have been times in the past when I’ve woken up at the sound of my own voice saying goodbye to someone who’s passed on. I think there have been entire conversations I’ve only caught the tail end of, and then they were gone. So that this happened doesn’t come as a surprise to me.
Honestly, Cindy knew my husband and adored him, which is why I think he was there with me. I believe the other people in the class were some of the folks she also knew in life. The scrapbook was a product of the memories of us she took with her, and we were allowed to glance at them as comfort. And I believe she was there with us. It was brief, but she was there, letting us see her as she was, and then moving on.
Cindy was saying goodbye. I think there are times when someone who’s touched our life has a chance to say goodbye, only we don’t always remember it if it happens in our dreams. Sometimes it’s for them, sometimes it’s for us, and sometimes it’s for the both them and us. But it happens. Sometimes they say goodbye.
Kage Alan is the Stryker watching, Jerome Froese listening author of the novels “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins,” and “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell,” plus short stories “Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” featured in the “Butt Pirates In Space” anthology, “Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns of Fury” featured in the “Butt Ninjas From Hell” anthology, “It’s A Wonderful Lube” featured in the “Butt Babes In Boyland” anthology, “Chinchilla Chimichangas” in the “Butt Riders On The Range” anthology, the novella, Falling Awake, and “Master Malevolence in: The Tail of the Fluffy Monkey” featured in the “Butt Villains on Vacation” anthology.