Light in Dark Spaces

Light in Dark Spaces


I knew the exact placement of the tree in my new home, well before the Halloween candy had a chance to go clearance in the grocery store aisle.

Actually its placement chose itself well before–prior to the picking of cabinets, or flooring, or even the lot on which the home would land.

It will sit where it appeared in a dream back in Summer, 2017.

It accompanied the first appearance of Bill I had after his departure.

Yesterday I pulled the dud of the tree out from storage. Three easy pieces with pre-lit, white lights–purchased from a reputable place closed on Sundays.

The perfect tree.

At least the first season. Same time last year, I plug her in and only half her bulbs shine. Yesterday, even less–one small strand near the top glows against the artificial green backdrop.

My first thought–throw it to the curb. Instead I spend hours clipping away the small cords wrapped around the branches, until the tree is free of non-working lights. Reminds me of Bill and his patience with lights–he would save them even if they refused to work, then methodically go through each strand.

Oh, heck no.

Today, my little green tree sits all natural, waiting for new lights to make her shine.

If you’ve read this far, maybe you are wondering aloud, “What about the dream Josie?”

Yes, the dream. The one in a home not my own…or is it?

I believe it is.

From journal entry – August 2, 2017

I dreamt of him last night. 

At first I am home decorating for Christmas. It is not my home, but it is mine, if that makes any sense. 

A friend is helping me hang up decorative signs, and apparently I have so many from which to choose. 

She picks up one in particular that I see is of Winnie the Pooh.

“Oh, I love that one.” I say. 

The scene shifts and Bill enters the room from a door to the left of my vision, in front of large windows where the tree stands. He walks in with a white towel hanging over his shoulders–like he just got out of the shower. I see only his upper half.

His hair is a bit longer, thicker, grayer. He smiles and says he wants to get in a quick workout before he leaves. Apparently he has people waiting for him.

I tell him he needs to rest…(There is more, but for another time.)

The dogs wake me up. 

“Thank you for visiting me in my dream, Bill Barone.”

I am instantly reminded of the “Winnie the Pooh moment” from weeks ago, a moment when God uses Pooh to convey a message directly to my hurting heart:

If ever there is tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But, the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I will always be with you.”

Thank you Jesus for the moment with him, ever so briefly reviving my heart with a reminder of his presence in his absence. So weirdly intimate. Just what this little girl needed upon waking.

Oh and Bill, you know I’ve always preferred your hair on the longer side. 

Psalm 36:9 – For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

Today, Christopher Robin’s words sit between the door and the tree–a perfect place where the light shines in.

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