It didn't take very long for me to realize that today is April 14. And that this day is significant. It is two years ago on this week that I last saw the real Bo. We went to lunch with our work pals. But at that lunch I saw the beginnings of the end for him. I hadn't seen it before that day. For the last year and half he had been seeking alternate treatments for the cancer in his body because he had been told he had just a month, maybe two to live. I mean, what the heck right? You'll try anything.
There was an awkward moment at first between us when I first suggested that there was encouraging research about breastmilk and it's ability to kill cancer cells. I mean, that's bit unconventional. Bo was a father figure to me and here I was suggesting that I pump my milk for him. AWKWARD! But that subsided quickly. Because while we didn't actually talk much about it, he left a note on my desk at work a few weeks into it. All it said was, "I feel GOOD!". I closed my door to my office and had a good cry. Because even though I knew I couldn't cure him with breastmilk, maybe, for just a bit, it could help him feel better. And it did.
After that we had a little fun with "The Exchange". I would bring it to the shelter and stash it in the basement freezer, he'd arrive and we'd pretend not to see eachother as he jetted by with his cooler toward the basement to get the goods. There was a milk deal going down. Then after he stashed it in his truck, he come back in. And as if it were the first time he'd seen me that morning, he'd say, "Oh hey Colleen". He always greeted people like that, "Oh hey (your name here)".
Well he lived for another year and a half after that initial two months left prognosis. Nine months of which he took my milk with his morning oatmeal. Or a smoothie. And until that lunch date (three weeks before he passed), he was strong and very much himself. He died a few weeks later. I had seen him twice after April 14 but those two times, he wasn't able to speak. The lesions on his brain were growing too fast and rendering him unable to get words out. So it was April 14 that I got to last talk to my friend. No wonder I dreamt about him last night.
So, the dream was simple. I knew Bo was coming over to visit. I go to the bedroom to get a freshly napped Ms. Plum when I hear the door open to the living room and I hear his voice. "Oh Hey, Mr. Pants.", Bo says to my boy. And then calls out to me, "Where's that sweet baby?". I head out with Plum and he reaches for her. The kicker is that she reaches for him too. And if you know Ms. Plum's current stage of development, then you know that she's not so keen on anybody but mama right now. Willingly and eagerly going to others isn't currently in her skill set. But in my dream she reached for him. He held her. And he talked to her, "Well aren't you so pretty?", "You're such a big healthy girl!", "Are you being good for your mama?" and "She's so perfect" are what he said. And they are only parts of the rest of the dream that I remember. Everything else is blurry.
I have written before about my struggle with knowing what, if anything, in this life goes on after we die. And the practical part of me knows that I have had a few moments recently when I wished that Bo and Ms. Plum could have known each other. I found out she was on the way about two months after he died. And I'm sure the science of the brain intervened to help me bring these two together in my dream last night. But maybe, just maybe, a part of me hopes that he came to visit from somewhere in my heart instead. Or even better, from his.
I hope that he keeps coming back to watch my children grow and to have coffee and chat. Because I still miss my friend. And even though it makes me sad when I realize all over again when I wake, that he is gone. It's ok. I'll take it, if it means I get to hang out with him.
So today I will honor him. I'm going to put a little extra love into the world today. Maybe, you can to.