There was a crumbling and rusty large gravestone in my dream and a long epitaph written there, which contained phrases like:
“He saw red enamel…
He spoke of beach compounds…
He dreamed of Antarctica’s health…”
There was a whole lot more that I desperately tried to remember in the dream so I would remember when I woke up! This is all I can recall at the moment, but hoping there is more…
The dream was long and involved the story of a doctor and his speech and language expert wife who had three sons, one of whom was quite autistic. The dream followed them from a time when the kids were quite young and playing on a beach, riding bikes and running around the house screaming and laughing, to when the sons and wife were dead and the old doctor was old, grey-bearded and rather tottery. Somehow I was in the dream at various stages of this family’s life. I remember going for a long walk with the father and the two non-disabled sons. We were chatting about all sorts of things, including listening to the sounds our joints made quietly as we walked! The autistic son was mainly educated at home and I can’t recall the details of how he was managed on the days when both his parents worked. Anyway, he wore a helmet to prevent him doing too much damage to himself and ran about saying weird things, squealing and flapping. He could read a bit, made up odd stories that did not make much sense and found it impossible to ride a bike like his brothers, even though he tried for years. When he died- and I think the epitaph may have been for him- there was a reporter from a large newspaper at the family home to do a story on him. While they were discussing what should go in the story, the doctor brought out some old films and videos of things happening with the autistic boy.
The doctor and his wife also put the helmet on and imitated some of the antics the boy went through- they were hilarious! There were some crazy things on the films and videos that had the journalist cacking himself!
I could see the house as a whole in its setting at the end, with some small industrial city in the distance a few kms away. The house was a modern, multi-roofed house on a small hill overlooking the city. The grave with the epitaph was in a field next to the house covered in golden dry grass.
I remember speaking with the doctor on the occasion of his farewell dinner from the local community when he retired at 65 or so. I was talking to him about what it had been like for him to be a patient for the first time when he had suffered a small prostate cancer [this must be related to one of my former jobs where I did interview several older doctors who had recovered from it]. He was philosophical and explained he’d been a bit embarrassed, hadn’t approved of some of the things that had happened to him, but decided he had been treated OK overall and wasn’t complaining!
There was a bit about the sons not receiving some awards from their church youth group because a crotchetty old pastor had blown some incidents with the autistic boy out of all proportion, and blamed the other two boys. [weird!!!]
The house I can see as a rambling house with plenty of yard and not much garden- it appears to be in a sepia print! I could sketch it, or find a similar photo to illustrate how it looked.
The image of the old doctor left on his own at the end, shuffling around the house with no other occupants is warm and only slightly lonely. The doctor had a grey beard, trimmed but a little longer than when he was young, and his hair was thick and white and growing over his collar. His clothes were a bit crumpled- with a broadly checked shirt and a brown cardigan! Perhaps we have the beginnings of a movie script or at least a short story here!
It’s also probably relevant that I have known many families with autistic and Asperger’s syndrome kids and have spent a lot of time in their homes- but none of them match this particular family in the dream! And none of them lived where this dream is set- in a dry part of the US interior with rolling, grassy slopes and fields of corn and wheat stalks!
Well- maybe more to this if it comes back to me, maybe not…