We got a call this morning that our friend Tim passed away last night. This was no surprise, as we were expecting it after his brain hemorrhage a couple weeks ago, precipitated by his infection a couple weeks before that.
I had a weird dream with him in it last night. But after that dream, I had an even weirder, more disturbing dream. But it needs some background and explanation. So now before the dreams, here is the real life background info, that I should’ve written down last year, but I wasn’t exactly in a writing mood:
On New Year’s Eve/Day 2009/2010, I was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of someone screaming “help! help!” outside. I couldn’t move, but I heard someone running up or down the steps next door, probably a younger and more awake neighbor looking to see what was going on. I think Stan slept through it. Soon after, I hear sirens, so I finally get up to look outside. The old guy who lived alone across the street had a fleet of 3 vehicles: van, SUV, pickup sort of vehicles…one of those WTF sort of things (this is in the city…on a corner lot…not in the country). A pickup with a camper shell had somehow caught fire under the hood, and by the time I got dressed and looked outside, I saw flashing lights and smoke emanating from the truck. The old guy wearing shorts stumbled outside to view the damage, then back inside, never to take care of the problem. The truck sat on his lawn for the next few months, never hauled away or repaired under his watch.
A couple months later in March on a Saturday night, Stan and I were watching a movie and I heard sirens. They stopped in front of the old guy’s house. Paramedics went inside and emerged a while later carrying the old guy on a stretcher. We figured he won’t be coming back. We were right. Several weeks later he died.
For many, many years prior to this incident, I would have creepy dreams about the old guy…that he was watching me and could see me inside my house. This was impossible…he never opened his drapes to look out his window…and we have a jungle in front of our front window, so it would be hard to see through all our houseplants even if he did. Once I dreamt I could see him on the top floor, and he was sitting up in a hospital bed. I don’t know if this was before he was taken away on a stretcher or not. But all these dreams took place from the safety of my own home, watching. I never actually went over there in any of the dreams.
For the next few months, a daughter of his and her family would come over and clean up little by little, hauling big bins of trash outside, and then eventually renting a large dumpster. But first they got rid of the 3 cars, including the one that had caught fire. Some young guys came over and in an afternoon disassembled the entire thing for parts and hauled it off. By the time the dumpster rental had expired, they were still coming over every weekend or so to clean up some more and to throw away more stuff.
I knew that he didn’t have a good relationship with his family…one daughter, the youngest, basically left and never returned, except to pick up a piece of furniture, and then her car wouldn’t start as she was trying to leave…something that would happen to me. There were two older daughters, and I don’t know which one was attending to taking care of the situation. By the time we came back from our vacation in August, we didn’t see them come over to clean much anymore. The house hasn’t been sold…nothing has happened with it. From the outside, it looks the same as it’s always looked…clutter in the front porch, old refrigerator on the back porch, closed drapes on all the windows. Who knows what’s going on inside.
Last night or early this morning, before we got the news Tim had passed, I had a dream that I saw Tim. He was sitting in a chair in a hospital, sort of slouched, but he was awake. His skin was rather grey and his lips looked blue, but he was alive. I asked him if we could see him and talk to him, but he said now would not be a good time because he looked awful. I said that didn’t matter to us…I was just glad to see that he wasn’t comatose anymore.
I woke up from that dream, and went back to sleep. I had another dream. It started out very realistically. I was sitting in the living room, and look out the window and notice that there is a light on in the windows across the street. I assume it is the daughter and her family come to clean up some more. But it’s New Year’s Eve in the middle of the night…why spend the night doing that? I saw motion inside…there were lots of people there. Were they having a party? I don’t know why, but I went over there. There were three women, probably his daughters, and they were all sleeping downstairs in the living room, like a slumber party. One had pulled out a sleeper couch, and the other two were sleeping on a very long old fashioned sofa. The room had wallpaper and in the corner of the wall was a large blood stain with splatters. It was scaring me, and I asked them what that was from. One of the women starts to tell me something, but it doesn’t make any sense, so I figure she does not want me to know what it is, or it is a sensitive subject or something. I keep staring at the blood stain. And I wake up.
I’m not surprised I had a dream about Tim the night he died. People say that happens when someone dies you are close to. They come visit you. I’m thinking he must have been on the other side at the time I had the dream. I hope he doesn’t forget about the house in Kenosha where we’ll all meet when we’re all gone.
As far as the dream about the old man’s house across the street? I don’t know. But I’m sure it’s connected somehow. I thought when he died someone in my family would be next, like it was an omen. I guess Tim was as close as one could get to a brother for someone who has no siblings. We were born in the same hospital.