I had a dream that I saved you.
You were still a baby, no more than two, and were about to tumble off a steep ledge. I grabbed you as you fell, wrapped you in my arms in midair, and we flipped head first over the ledge.
By some dream magic, I landed far below on my back, you wrapped tightly in my arms against my chest, and we were both fine. You were wearing a bright blue shirt that you actually owned — why my mind remembers a shirt from twenty-four years ago, who knows.
You let me hold you for some time.
I didn’t understand what the dream meant at first, but I didn’t have to think about it long.
You died of a horrible fall. Head first.
You being two represents you being too young. (Most would agree that twenty-six is way too young.)
And if I could have caught you in midair, I would have — I would have flipped over any ledge for you. But I wasn’t there. I was oblivious, ten miles away.
When I woke up, I could still feel the weight of you in my arms.