Today I went back to my exercise class for the first time since early fall. A foot injury prevented me from going before and it felt so good to exercise and dance and see familiar faces happy I’d returned. The last few days have given me renewed energy and I’m so grateful.
Every 4 weeks I receive one of the drugs for my lupus by IV infusion. The appointment is something that I’ve worked into my routine knowing that when I arrive I’ll be weighed, have my vital signs taken and then have an IV inserted. While the medication drips I’ll read, sleep or talk to my nurse until it’s time for the 15 minute vital signs check. This past week’s appointment had an added bonus. As I rose to leave my nurse stopped me, handing me a box. “I’m sorry I missed you last month but here’s a gift for you. I like my patients to know how special they are to me.”
I sat feeling surprised and special saying, “thank you,” before I even opened the box. “Can I open it now?”
“Of course you can. I hope you like it.”
I opened the box to find a beautiful scarf woven with all the colors I love. “It’s beautiful. I’m going to put it on right now.”
“You really like it? I’m so glad.”
I hugged her goodbye and walked out into the cold, loving my new scarf and grateful that on that day, I left my appointment so much better than when I came.
For the first time in months I’ve been able to rest, really rest where I fall asleep and wake up refreshed. I even took a nap on Thursday and Friday. I’m stunned that restlessness and a worried mind have quieted enough for me to fall asleep without having to work too hard. But last evening when I woke up I was cold and feeling sadness seeping in. Jordan, I miss you. I don’t know how to not to miss you so much.
I went downstairs joining Mark and the kids who’d already started eating dinner. After dinner I got out my laptop and checked email. I honed in on an email from one of Jordan’s friends. She told me that she’d been dreaming of Jordan all week, waking up to a tear soaked pillow. She went on to say that she finally had a dream last night where they were off on an adventure as though they were amateur spies. It was the first time she didn’t wake crying. She ended her note saying, “Whenever I’m having a hard time with classes or friends I find myself asking how Jordan would handle it. He was a great student and an even better friend.
I miss him a lot.”
I took a breath then reread her note. Not an hour before I opened her email, I’d asked Jordan how it was possible to keep going while missing him so much. Then, there was this note from one of his friends who’d never written me before to tell me how much Jordan is still a part of her life. The reverberations of loss don’t stop with my family or me. I wrote her back acknowledging how hard tough dreams about Jordan can be, but how wonderful the special dreams are. I ended my note to her telling her to please keep in touch and letting her know, “We can miss him together.” I showed Mark the email and my response and then showed him a line from one of my blog posts:
Jordan’s spirit is in the coincidences of his name appearing or being overheard when I miss him most. He is in the emails and notes from his friends reaching out to me when I ache for him.
I think Jordan was again reminding me of his presence. His friend reached out to me and I can reach out to her and to others. All of us who love and miss Jordan can ease our pain and sorrow, even if it’s just a little bit by knowing that we can miss him together.