That night I had a dream. I am sitting in a wooded area on a bench, hidden from view, watching all of the people stroll by. I am there alone but am content to soak up the sun and just observe. I am taking it all in when I hear a familiar child’s voice shouting, “Mommy!” and I turn to see my two kids running hand in hand down the path calling for me.
I jump up and start toward them. Their cries become more desperate and afraid. I begin to run. But as I get closer I realize they are not running to me. At the end of the path stands Joel and beside him is another woman I don’t recognize. And in Joel’s arms is a baby. As my children run toward this stranger she gets down on one knee embracing them as they snuggle into her arms.
She is their mother. This is their family. I stand staring at them, tears streaming down my face as they turn and walk away. Just when I am sure they haven’t seen me Joel turns around with a look of hatred and says to me, “YOU did this.”
I wake up with a start, real tears pouring down my face. Jackson is holding me tight, stroking my hair, attempting to soothe me. But I am inconsolable. I am terrified and confused. I didn’t think a love like this was possible. Jackson and I are so deeply connected. We were meant to be together. I know this with every ounce of my being. But I already made choices. I am their mother. I love them with every ounce of my being. What do I do? Every way I look there is loss and sadness. Whatever choice I make we all lose.