Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mother was feeling better today and yesterday when I checked on her. Both nurses said she's responding to conversation and that her appetite is ok. (One said it's been better, but she's eating at least half her food, the other described it as so-so.) She's taking smaller bites and not getting choked most of the time. I'm beginning to wonder if Renae may have over-stated her poor condition to justify "skilled nursing care." I never heard back from Dr. Kroose, and I also didn't hear whether or not an appointment was made for a modified barium swallowing test. I'll visit this afternoon when I run errands.

I had a nightmare this morning about being in a war zone. I was on a school campus with children playing, lots of laughter, squeals, shouting, innocent childish fun noises. My dogs were playing with the children. From the distance I heard explosions and gunfire, then it got closer. Suddenly an army of soldiers in camoflauge swarmed the campus in jeeps, tanks, on foot. I tried to gather the children into a building, but they were being shot, the buildings were being bombed, I heard muffled cries of children under the rubble and I heard Gus whimper. The few who had made it into a building with me had huddled in a restroom trying to hide. Soldiers with machine guns came in and shot us all. I awoke immediately, one of those dreams that takes you so close to death that if you don't wake up, you die.

I don't know where we were in this dream, if I was in Iraq or in America, I couldn't tell. I do know that the terrors of war were made so real for me that I hate it more today than I ever have. "Collateral damage," they call it, but this seemed very deliberate, maniacal, cold. Such a sweet, peaceful scene turned so quickly into a hysterical hell. I don't remember ever having such a bloodcurdling dream.

I will not be watching as much television next week as I did this week. It's too easy for me to internalize and personalize the disaster being played out hourly on the news channels. Strange this dream occurred after forcing myself to watch a couple of Fox programs for their perspective. The State of Denial is definitely still intact there. I got the feeling that if jihadism broke out here, they would still be defending and rationalizing why invading Iraq was the right thing for Bush to do.

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