I am writing a book about two children who have a very special bond and are facing life’s challenges as they grow up. Their biggest life challenge is in learning how to Trust and Surrender. I anticipate publishing in six months. The following is a sneak peak.
* * *
It was now the beginning of January. A deal was finalized just over a month ago on the restaurant space. John and Angela had secured a four-year lease with a locked-in rent that included an option for a fifth year. They were now in the process of remodeling the space to match what they had envisioned, including small details such as décor, paint, lighting, and service needs. The biggest project they had undertaken was stripping the floor and refinishing it, a beautiful oak wood that complemented the space perfectly.
Angela’s mother and father came by one afternoon to help pick out the china, glassware, and silverware as well as stock the kitchen with pots, pans, utensils, and all the small wares necessary to operate a commercial kitchen.
When they arrived at the local restaurant supply company they had used to furnish Mama Rosa’s, they agreed that while the men gathered the kitchen ware, Angela and her mother, Maria, would look at the china and glassware.
“Angie,” Maria said, “I had a very unusual dream last night. It was about you, John, and your family.”
“Was it good, mom?” asked Angela.
“It was good, then sad, then good again. I foresaw your children. It was like a flash of their lives, your first son and first daughter in particular.”
“Well tell me, Mom, I want to hear about it,” said Angela as she scanned various sets of silverware.
“Well, first of all, you and John had the restaurant—Angela’s, it’s called by the way—and it is very successful. You were already pregnant and sometime in the fall you gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
“Now this whole time I’m dreaming, Ange, I’m not actually in the dream with everyone but more of an observer of what’s unfolding before me. I couldn’t interact with any of you, though at times I really wanted to.
“So, like I said, it was some time in the Fall and you were in the hospital, giving birth to your first son. I was floating above watching and right before your son was born, three intensely bright white lights . . . in the shape of people but not solid . . . more like spirits suddenly appeared on the left side of your bed. I can’t explain it but the room was instantly filled with love like no other. Love and light. And when your son came to the earth realm, there was a celebration in that room that reached up to the heavens. The three spirits spoke of the wonders of this miraculous moment, pure undiluted joy and happiness. You named him Joel.
“Then my dream morphed and there was suddenly a field. There I was with you, John and Joel, who was now five years old. And he had a brother Joseph, who was four, and baby sister, Jodie, who you were holding. Jodie was two and you were pregnant again with your fourth child.” Maria smiled. “You were having the big family you always wanted, baby,” said Maria proudly as she simultaneously held up a piece of china she thought would go nicely in the restaurant. “What do you think about this pattern, Angela?”
Angela nodded a maybe then smiled and said, “Thank God I want a large family, Mom. You got me with four children in five years . . . Yikes!”
“Anyway,” Maria said, dismissing Angela’s tease with a wave of her hand, “the boys were playing in the field as you, John, and Jodie were seated on a blanket. I then shifted my attention to the sky. The sun was bigger than normal and there was a planet, really big, about ten times bigger than our moon in fact, and the planet had two moons around it big enough for me to see in broad daylight. That’s when I realized we weren’t on Earth as we knew it anymore . . . but it was Earth nonetheless.” Maria paused and looked into her daughter’s eyes. Confident she had Angela’s full attention she continued. “The boys were laughing and playing and talking to someone I couldn’t see, but I could sense their presence. I realized it was the same presence that was in the delivery room when your first child Joel was born.
“It was at this point I realized I was dreaming, but the dream felt like the real reality,” said Maria insistently. “Then, all of a sudden, the boys sat down next to each other . . . looking up as if looking at a person. I walked toward them and heard Joel say, ‘Okay. I will.’ Then Joseph repeated the same response. Next thing I heard was a voice saying, ‘Remember, family is everything. You take care of each other and always, no matter what, help and protect both of your sisters. They will need you as you walk this path.’
“I asked the boys who they were talking to but got no response, so I asked again and that’s when I realized, I was just an observer, not a participant in this story. I didn’t like that I was just an observer. I wanted to be an active player.”
“Mom, it was just a dream. No worries,” Angela said as she carefully considered silverware patterns. “Was that how it ended?” she asked.
“No, honey. You called the boys back over and then you all gathered on the blanket and enjoyed your picnic. I’m telling you, Angela, it felt like Earth and looked like Earth, except for the sky, that enormous sun, planet and moons. I started to pay attention to other details. There were birds I’d never seen the likes of before and colorful insects completely different from anything on earth. And then the scene shifted again.
“I was in a middle school and Joel must have been twelve and Jodie, nine. She was heading down a flight of stairs when two older girls and two older boys pinned her on a landing in the corner. The boys took her backpack and they all started calling her names. ‘Baby,’ ‘Princess,’ ‘Brat.’ . . . ‘We’ll teach you a lesson,’ they said. Jodie was crying and begging them to stop and to give her back her backpack. One of the girls slapped her in the face while the other punched her in the stomach. She was crying hard and I could hear myself yelling for them to stop but no one could hear me. Then they knocked her to the floor and the boys held her down while the girls pulled down her shorts.”
Maria looked up from the knives and forks she perused halfheartedly and straight into her daughter’s eyes. “Jodie was so scared, Ange. It was heartbreaking. These children were beyond mean . . . they were downright cruel. I remember thinking in my dream, ‘What happened to these children to make them do such a thing to a girl so much smaller than they are?’
“After the girls took her shorts off, they kept teasing Jodie until one of the girls laughed and said, ‘Let’s take her underwear off too!’ The other said, ‘Yeah, let’s make her walk around naked.’ Jodie was screaming and crying hard. ‘No!’ she cried and she kept begging them to stop. There was absolutely nothing I could do! I was powerless in my dream. By now the boys joined in taunting and shouting, ‘Take her panties, take her panties!’ They were laughing mercilessly.
“Just then Jodie screamed. ‘Jooooooel!’ She screamed at the top of her lungs and in that instant, Joel was running down the school stairs at full speed.”
Though she wanted to hear more, Angela sensed that she needed to sit down before she could listen any further. She took her mother by the arm and gently led her from the aisle of flatware and china toward a set of chairs that were on display. “Let’s sit down, Mom,” Once seated, she said, “Then what happened?”
Maria continued. “It was as if she just summoned Joel out of thin air, because he was there before she even finished his name. As he came running down the stairs, he lowered his shoulder like a football player and went smashing into the two boys that were holding Jodie down all the while yelling, ‘Get off my sister!’ He grabbed them both and shoved them straight into the wall. Then he turned and grabbed both girls by their hair, gently but firmly pulling their heads back causing them to look straight up. ‘Whatever it is you think you’re doing, He—Joel looked up as if to God—doesn’t approve. This is wrong . . . and not only will you never pick on my sister again,’ he said to the girls, still holding them by the hair, ‘none of you will ever bully anyone ever again either. Say yes if you understand me.’ By now the girls were just as scared as Jodie had been. Sniffling and crying they said, ‘Yes, we will! I mean no, we won’t pick on her anymore! We understand you, please let us go!’
“Before Joel let go of the girls, he said, ‘It doesn’t feel good to be on the other end, does it? Now I want you to say you’re sorry to Jodie and ask her for her forgiveness.’ Joel let go of the girl’s hair and listened to them stammer their apologies . . . ‘we’re sorry, so sorry, Jodie. Please, please forgive us, we won’t do it again!’ as he walked towards the boys who were still dazed from being slammed into the wall. ‘Apologize,’ he said to the boys and then he added, ‘or I’ll beat the ever-living shit out of you right here and right now.’
“I must tell you, Ange, I was shocked at how quick and sincere Jodie was in accepting their apologies. ‘I forgive you all, but what you did wasn’t nice. I didn’t do anything to any of you.’ By this time, she had slid her shorts back on and was hurrying to gather all her things off the floor. Joel walked to his sister and helped her. When they were finished, they stood side by side and faced the four bullies. Joel said, ‘My name is Joel Pfister and this is my sister, Jodie. You let anyone and everyone know, if they ever touch, tease, make fun of or bother her in anyway, they’re going to have me to deal with, and it makes me very angry when someone upsets her.’
“Just then, Angela, I swear to you . . . Joel seemed to swell with an energy so powerful that the walls started to shake and vibrate. It was as if the force of a hundred hurricanes were about to smash through those walls. Jodie reached out and grabbed Joel’s hand saying, ‘No, Joel . . . It’s okay.’ The four bullies ran away, screaming for their lives and Jodie hugged her brother for what seemed like a lifetime.”
Angela stared at her mother, shaking her head as Maria finished this part of the dream. A blank look of disbelief consumed her until she finally said, “Mom, that’s horrible! My poor baby!” Angela tried to understand all her mother had just told her, but, dream or no dream, the story shook Angela to the core—and she didn’t even have any children. But her mother’s account, in such vivid detail, of the tormenting of one of her daughters had really unnerved her. At that moment, Angela was very grateful that she was sitting down. “Mom,” she said hesitantly, “You said that this dream was good, then sad, then good again. But, in my opinion, you’re way off base. If you ask me, your dream was more like a nightmare. So, if it was good, sad, then good, where is the good again?”
“Yes, okay,” Maria conceded. “It was worse than I let on, but I didn’t want to scare you till I told you everything first. I’m sorry, Ange. So, as I was saying, sweetie, Jodie was hugging Joel and when she let go, she said, ‘Thank you, Joel, thank you for coming to me. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t shown up.’ Then Joel said—and I remember every word, Ange—‘I didn’t have a choice. Once you called out, I just warped from class to you. Running down the stairs, I was fully aware of what was happening. I was so furious that I wanted so bad to hurt those kids. I don’t know how, but I do know that if you ever need me, all you need to do is call and I will be here. We are connected on such a deep level you and I that maybe when we are in our awake mode, back on Earth, you are my sister, but here in Dream world, you are a whole lot more. We have a bond, a relationship, a connection with each other the likes not felt on Earth and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you so much, Jodie that . . . with you, all is right.’
“To that Jodie replied, ‘I love you too, Joel. I also feel this connection when we are here. Not just brother and sister, but much deeper . . . like our souls are one.’ Then Jodie hugged Joel once more. And that’s when I woke up, Ange. It was so beautiful to watch these two children talk to each other and hold each other as if they knew their purpose in life. Their words to each other, gentle, comforting and reassuring. A brother-sister bond that parents only dream of instead of the fighting and bickering that usually goes on. I also sensed the truth in Joel’s words, that their bond was deeper than any other on Earth.
“The way he held Jodie . . . close and secure, reassuring her that with him nearby she would always be safe, no matter what, safe from anyone, or anything, anywhere, at any time. To see the joy in her eyes and in her smile, the softness on her face, that she understood all this just by his gentle touch.” Maria stared at the floor then back at her daughter and smiled. “I sensed a complete comfort . . . something much deeper than brothers and sisters, or even lovers have. That they had a knowledge, an understanding that was gifted to them and to them alone . . . from God. They were linked, not only through blood, but spirit and soul also. It was so beautiful that the words I am using to describe what I saw and felt in that dream do it no justice.
Angela looked at her mother wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Words had escaped her. Finally, she said, “Mom, that is the most intense, vivid, and powerful dream I ever heard. All the emotions I’m feeling at this moment are baffling. I remember every word you said as if they were all true.
“The joy of the birth of my son with God’s presence. What an honor that you visually saw God’s presence. I know He is always present, but hey, He made a guest appearance!” Angela reached for her mother’s hands and held them gently. “The happiness in the field you described, God talking with my two boys, giving them guidance, counsel if you will . . . then, me, having a daughter with another child on the way . . . that all sounds so amazing. You’re right mom. I do want, we, John and I really do want to have at least four children.
“You being there to witness what you did—only in spirit, I know—but it made me a little sad at first . . . then angry when you told me Jodie was getting bullied. I was furious, outraged. I felt a hundred other fears for her for all the horrors I imagined she had to endure at such a young age. You describing it . . . it was all so real. It was as if you were telling me a real-life story about my own daughter. I literally started to cry,” Angela said as she smiled then added, “as you probably noticed.”
Maria nodded silently and listened as Angela continued. “But then you described how Joel came to her rescue and the connection of a brother and sister at their age makes me feel that I and my family are—or will be—truly blessed by God . . . that He would create such a powerful bond between our children. It’s such a relief knowing that they would be watched over.”
And with that Angela began to cry, just as her husband and father walked towards them. “Don’t cry, babe,” John said. “We’ll find the right china. It’s okay,” having not a clue about the dream Maria had just relayed to his wife.