Makenzie in My Dreams

It’s been nearly three years since my oldest daughter, Makenzie died in a car accident.  Since then, our family has been on a journey marked by recovery, struggle, joy, sadness, questions and pain.  Pain – there’s been plenty of that.  But what has been lacking in our movement forward are dreams.  In my vulnerability, I pray for dreams about her.  Last night, God gave me one. Here’s what I remember:

Our family was at a party – no, a carnival.  There were kiddie rides, food booths and street performers and the smell of cotton candy permeated the cool, late afternoon air.  In the dream, I knew that she died, that she was allowed a few hours with us and that at the close of the carnival, she would be heading back to heaven.  We walked together, once again, as a family.  We talked, played some games and ate hotdogs smothered in mustard.

Makenzie’s snorty laugh rang in my ears as she skipped and told jokes with my son Nathan and my younger daughter Maddie.  I took her hand and we strolled together past a juggler.  She was fascinated  by the performer’s finesse.  I remember sitting down with her on a bench and asking her questions.  “What is heaven like?”  “What do you remember at and immediately after the accident?”  “Does Jesus play guitar?”  (I don’t know why I asked that but I did).  She simply smiled and snuggled deep into my chest as she used to.

My last vivid memory of the dream was our family, once again, walking through the carnival toward the exit that led to an open field.  Makenzie grabbed Maddie’s hand and the two of them skipped ahead, made a circle and jumped around like two tea-party little girls playing “Ring around the Rosie.”

It was beautiful.  It was lovingly simple and complete.  Yet, the dream seared.  I didn’t want her to go back.  I woke up this morning with the feeling of desperation that I haven’t felt since June, July and August of 2009.

So there it is, oh ye interpreters of dreams.  A look into my sad madness and a walk through the carnival of my dream.


7 thoughts on “Makenzie in My Dreams

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  1. Reblogged this on John Nemo and commented:
    This is neat post by a great writer/teacher named Todd Stocker. I’ve had dreams too about my dead father but never one quite so vivid and uplifting as the one Todd shares here.

  2. Todd thanks for sharing this. What an amazing gift that dream was! So happy for you. My dad died when I was 17 (almost 20 years ago) and I’ve had dreams with him in it now and then. Usually it’s at our old house where I grew up, and I know he’s dead and often I’m confused as to why he’s there, and our time is always short and always I feel strange when I wake up. It’s always so fleeting!

    I know I’ll see him again in heaven and he’ll be at the front of the crowd waiting to welcome me home and invite me to grab some skates and play hockey with him. Or maybe baseball – a game of catch. Can’t wait for that moment!

  3. Karen’s sister (and I dare say with some jealosy best friend) died of cancer oh so long ago. Through it I just believed that she’d always get well. I was sure of it. But she didn’t. The night after her funeral as we lay down to go to sleep I prayed ‘how could I be so wrong’? I had a dream that very night where I saw her smiling as before, with hair this time. When I woke up the next morning to me the message was clear. I wasn’t wrong. She was just fine, only even more so.

    It would be another 15 years before I began praying that I’d be Karen’s new best friend. How dumb can a guy be? All those years of hoping my wife would just muddle through and find her way on her own strength. And she did. But it would have been so much better if I’d been stronger, gentler … Gosh the list is long.

  4. My heart still gos out to you and your family. My Tammy celebrated her last birthday when she was 19. This April 13th she would have been 39. The day she was born was Friday the 13th and this year that is when her birthday is. Have a BLESSED EASTER!!!! Nancy in South Dakota

  5. Praise God from whom A L L blessings flow……….

    Yes, I count your daughter AND your dream both blessings. The fact that MaKenzie was EVER a part of your life – blessing. The fact that you enjoyed such an amazingly close and loving relationship – blessing. The fact that your relationship was SO cherished that you miss it – blessing. The fact that you know where her soul has gone – blessing. The answer to your prayer that you could have a few more precious moments together even if was only a dream- blessing………..

    See it as you choose – I choose to see it ALL as a blessing!

  6. Todd, The Lord has blessed you with great faith, hope & confidence in Him! Yet a lifetime does not erase the loss of a loved one! At the beginning of Holy Week, the dream is a gift.; You had momentswith Mackenzie & a reminder of the joy that is ours in one
    week’s time! Christ Jesus is risen & because He lives, your little girl also lives! He alone can wipe away your tears! Thank you for sharing your hope and your painful walk through grief with us!
    UIn Jesus, Whio is all in all! Jeannine

  7. I am actually a little envious – I have had only one dream of Aaron since he died – and that was probably a month or so after. I have prayed to “see” him if for no other reason than to refresh my picture of him and “hear” his voice. What a special experience Todd. I will renew that prayer of mine. Thank you for sharing!

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