Last night's dream was definitely a nightmare.

It started out simply enough, my mom and dad, my son and I were going shopping at some little boutique.  We were walking in from the vehicle to the store and I was in the front, my son was behind me, followed by my dad and then my mom.  I walked in the store and started looking around at some of the items they had.  I looked up to check on my son and noticed that he wasn't with my dad.  I then looked to check and see if he was with my mom.  After a cursory glance around, I left my parents to search the store and I walked outside to see if he was still in the parking lot.

The dream brought new meaning to the phrase "seconds turned into hours". It was as if time stopped as I ran through the parking lot looking for him; I looked under and around cars, along side the road, down the nearby train tracks.

It was as if he disappeared in a matter of only a few minutes.

We searched for hours and hours, I called his name endlessly but he never answered.

In my mind, a reel of all the possible things that could have happened to him played non-stop.

At night-fall everyone around me insisted that I needed to go home to rest, but I couldn't bear the idea of going to home and not taking my boy home with me.  In the end, I had no choice as I was sedated and driven home against my will and without the aid of my own strength.

I woke up in the early morning hours and went to my car dressed as I was.  I left my husband in our bed and drove off to go back in search of my boy.

As I approached the shop that I lost him at, I had to stop and wait as the train passed.  I scanned up and down the road looking for any sign of him.  Impatiently I stared in the distance, waiting for the train to pass.

My heart stopped completely as I saw a flash of orange on the ground on the far side of the train.  As the wheels passed along, the orange flashed in and out of sight.

He was wearing an orange shirt when we lost him.

I launched myself out of my car, leaving it there in the middle of the road with the door wide open.  I remember hearing me scream his name with this gut-wrenching anguish in my voice.

I cannot tell you the hurt that I felt at that point.  I cannot begin to describe the torment.

Or the joy as I saw the orange move and then raise up as he stood up on the other side of the train.  I launched myself toward the train and started running down the length of it to the approaching end.  As it passed I circled back, running up the opposite side of the train where he stood, dirty, shaking, and crying.

Forget running across a field of sunlit grass into any lovers arms, there was no greater joy than wrapping my arms around that boy and crying into his shoulder as he cried into mine.

And while this nightmare technically had a happy ending...it was a nightmare all the same.

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Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

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