I am siting in my pajamas in the dining room in our center hall colonial when the front door swings open and a friend peers in and calls my name. Startled and angry, I pull a blanket around myself and yell at her to leave.
I dash (something I cannot do!) up two flights of stairs as she wails, "But you were so angry that we stopped coming around after Josh died!" "That was when I looked like me!" I yell backward.
I reach the landing on third floor between Josh's and Matt's rooms, where I encounter another young man, a complete stranger.
"And who on earth are you?" I demand.
He gives me a name and tells me that Matt said that he could live here.
"In my house? Without my knowledge or permission?" I am really angry now.
Drug-induced dreams? Or a revelation of reality?
Other people? Right response, wrong time.
Me? Scared and inadequate to the task.
Cancer? The stranger who had settled in before I knew he had arrived.
Death? Outside Josh's door.
I've quit the narcotics.
Editorial comments: This, remember, is a dream. My friends are amazing. All kinds of friends in all kinds of ways. But one of the things uppermost in my mind these days is the overall difference in experience ~ for me ~ between losing a child and losing a breast.