When I awoke today, I out-of-the-blue realized that today is the 4-year anniversary of publishing Volume I, and 1-year anniversary of publishing Volume II.
I’m still reeling that it’s been that long. I look back, and I still don’t know how I accomplished those tasks. How did I actually compose and publish those books? It still baffles me I got them done.
Once again, I testify that those books were created and published through the guidance, encouragement, wisdom, energy, and tenacity of Almighty God — not me. It was completely His work that was accomplished, through my willingness and time given to do it. I still marvel that it was done at all. I honestly sometimes forget that I created and published those books. When I’m asked questions about certain parts of them, I often need to go back and look up what I wrote. It’s absolutely surreal.
On another note, my 9-year-old son woke up this morning and related his dream last night to me. I’ll relate what he told me in his own words. It’s a compilation of what he actually said, much in response to the answers he gave me of the questions I posed to him about the dream:
I had a dream about the end of the world last night. God and Jesus were there. You, me, mommy, and sister were all there, and we were protected. There was a huge asteroid on fire coming that would hit the earth. It was so big and bright, it hurt to look at it. Jesus had created a huge barrier, like a huge half-circle, to protect all the good people from being killed from the fiery asteroid coming. It was huge.
[I asked him if he could see the barrier, and how big it was.] It was invisible, but you could tell where it was. It was big; it covered about half of [the city we live in]. And lots of good people were in it with us. We were there, and we were safe. But there were even more bad people outside the barrier. Some wanted to get in, but God wouldn’t let them. They were screaming and begging to come in. Jesus was crying, a lot. He was sad that they would die, but he couldn’t let them come in — they weren’t allowed to. Then when the asteroid came, everyone outside the barrier burned up.
[I asked if it was quick, or did the people suffer.] No, they didn’t suffer much. It was like, their arms fell off, and then their whole bodies just melted away — like a witch, you know, being splashed with water. I don’t think they had a lot of pain — it would probably be just like falling into lava, the heat will burn you so fast you’d barely have time to even feel it.
[I asked him if he saw Jesus’s face.] Yeah, I did. And I saw the wounds on his hands and feet. He was really sad and crying hard for the people who would die.
(UPDATE — Here’s some additional information I got from him later in the day as he reflected on his dream.)
[I originally thought he said that Heavenly Father and Jesus were up in the sky, and he clarified.] No, they were both walking on the ground with the rest of us. Heavenly Father’s face was so bright, I couldn’t look at it. But Jesus’s face I could see just fine. [I asked him if Jesus had brown hair.] Yeah, brown, but also some red in it — like as if some of his blood got into it. He pulled up a chair and sat down, crying. He had three little children on his lap. [I asked if he was playing with the children.] No, he was helping them not be scared of the things happening outside the barrier. They were holding him tight.
[I asked more about the barrier] It was invisible, but it was almost like glass. Everything inside the barrier was clear, and looked like how things do right now, but outside the barrier everything was crazy, and the air was foggy. [I asked if it was smoke.] Maybe, it was just not very clear. And everything was crazy out there.
The barrier was just like a wall for people inside, but for people outside, it was like a giant taser. [I suggested “Like an electric fence?”] Yeah! Like that! If someone tried to touch it, it would shock them and throw them back very hard. One bad guy was crazy to get in. He rushed at the barrier and smashed into it, and it threw him back super far. Also, there were a few people inside who were trying to get out, but they couldn’t. [I clarified “Some people actually wanted to go out of the barrier??”] Yeah, I don’t know why. However, one guy was able to get in. He was begging Jesus to let him in. He was starting to melt, but then he was pulled into the barrier and was healed completely, like magic.
And there wasn’t just one asteroid. There were some smaller ones. There was one as big as a building that hit the barrier. But when it did, it just flashed and disappeared. When the biggest asteroid hit, it was so hot that it melted right into the earth, just burned right into the planet. We were safe inside the barrier, but you could feel all the shaking underneath. All the people outside melted and burned up. Their bones were piled up everywhere. Also, I don’t know why I dreamed this, but I saw a chicken walking around pecking at the bones. [I clarified “A chicken survived, but everyone else melted?”] Yeah, that part was weird!
Also, there were some good people outside the barrier that died, too. However, they were instantly turned into angels. [“Were they like bright, flying angels?”] Yes, very bright and very beautiful. There were a lot of them. However, most everyone else when they died, they turned into evil spirits. [“Like evil ghosts?”] Yeah, like gray idiots. [“Idiots? Did they do stupid things?”] Well, they looked dark and see-through. They looked like crazy serial killers.
Oh, and what’s weird too is that the earth healed very quickly after the asteroids stopped hitting it. Like almost instantly afterwards, all the earth turned really beautiful again, as if the asteroids didn’t hit it at all. And this was weird too, the sun was bigger and brighter, as if the earth was closer to the sun. It was much bigger in the sky. [I asked if the gravity increased.] Well, you could feel a change, but it wasn’t harder to stand up or anything. The whole earth became really beautiful.
The dream felt really long — it was a really long dream. It felt like we were in that barrier for, like, five years.
[I asked him if everything looked real, like real things you see everyday, like our house and streets — or was it all some completely different place, but you just knew that it was “our house”] No, everything looked just like it does now. Our house was just the same.
[If I get any more interesting info from him, I’ll post another update here.]
I told my son that what he saw is an event that has been prophesied to occur in the more-distant future. It may not happen exactly the way he saw it in his dream, but things like that he saw will happen, specifically the huge fireball and the protective barriers.
This is the first time my son has ever had a dream like this, and he doesn’t often remember his dreams. My daughter remembers practically every dream she has, in extensive detail. She’s had a number of symbolic and somewhat-relating-to-the-end-of-the-world dreams, but I don’t recall any she’s shared with me with this much detail.
Lastly, since coming back to Taiwan in early August, I’ve been unable to post on this blog, or even read or respond to my emails. I wish to apologize to anyone who has been trying to contact me — I promise to get back in the groove; but for now I need to be “alone” for a while. I tried to post something to this blog back on October 15th (on my 20th wedding anniversary), but it ended up being more of a therapeutic-writing/release than an actual blog entry. I’ll copy and paste what I wrote here……
I wish to apologize for my absence. I have been silent on this blog, and I have not responded to any emails whatsoever. This is because I have withdrawn myself temporarily in order to cope and heal. Please allow me to explain.
Without sharing too much personal information publicly, let me just say that I was the oldest child (of four) in a very nasty, pride-filled (on both sides) divorce. I was 11 years old when my father moved out. The next several years were the worst years of my life, the details are so complex and pain-riddled that I don’t dare embark to begin to explain. I and my siblings are now in our late thirties and early forties, and we are still processing the pain from those years (and numerous since); on so many levels we have not had the catharses we have been yearning for for decades.
The events and situations that permeated after our parents’ divorce were so bizarre as to be almost completely unique. I’m not saying I and my siblings suffered more than any other children of divorce, or had the worst parents ever, but I am saying that when scrutinized in detail, our case was silently far worse and more excruciating than what can be gleaned from superficial generalities. Perhaps the only way to convey the level of inner torment thrust upon us as children would be the words that one of me and my sister’s peers from our ward expressed to my sister many years later. They went something like this:
“I used to think that I and my siblings were the most unlucky children in the world. Here I was, the oldest of five children, only in my second year of high school, and my beloved mother dies of cancer. Barely after the funeral, my dad’s boss tells him that he needs to relocate or he’ll be fired. So, like that, we lose our mother, then lose all of our lifelong friends and support and move to a new place. No friends, no one to comprehend our grief. Only two months later, my dad’s diagnosed with colon cancer. Before I even graduated from high school, my dad’s dead, too. I and my four siblings are now orphans. The next few years were a blur of confusion, relentless pain, and helplessness. So many times I felt betrayed and abandoned by God; so many times I cursed him. Sometimes I still feel like cursing him. All those supposed miracles in the Bible, and how we prayed – GOD how we prayed – and got nothing in behalf of my mom and dad………
“But then I look at you guys. Knowing you guys as well as I do, I see what pretty much everyone else chooses to ignore. And every time I think of you guys, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed because I realize that I and my siblings could have had it so much worse. We could have had your parents.”
As a child, I “escaped” into movies and video games. They were (and still are to some extent) my comfort zone – my place of escape. We had a bureau draw full of VHS tapes, about 40 or so. We didn’t have cable TV, but friends of my parents had recorded some movies off of cable and given them to us. Some Disney staples (Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Mary Poppins) and some Disney stupids (The Apple Dumpling Gang, Pete’s Dragon, The Cat from Outer Space, Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Black Hole [actually, I LOVED that one]), waaaaaay too many musicals (The Music Man, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma), some too-adult-for-young-children-but-we-were-exposed-to-them-anyway comedies my dad loved (Young Frankenstein, Zorro the Gay Blade, Love at First Bite, Airplane!), and boring dramas that my mother adored which I can now appreciate myself (Ordinary People, Dr. Zhivago), and various blockbusters of the era as well.
I watched each and every one of these tapes at least twice in my childhood, the majority of them I watched many times to the point of memorizing them scene for scene, line for line, word for word. My biggest childhood crush was Shirley Jones from The Music Man – the epitome of womanly grace, poise, courtesy, tenderness, and dignity. Sometimes, to humor other adults in the ward, my father would have me recite word for word the goofy clown dialogue from Dumbo – always cracking them up, despite at my young age I had no clue what the words meant.
I must have watched Oliver! nearly 50 times. I knew every single stupid song, inside and out. It endlessly baffled me as to why people would sing forever about “Who would buy this beautiful morning?”, or a bunch of raggedy kids and a wacky old man singing on and on “We’ll be back soon”, or the entire populace of 1800’s London stopping what they’re doing and dancing like idiots around a couple of dirty cyphers singing “Consider yourself one of us.” The complete absence of logic and reality from the majority of musicals irritated me to the point where I began to detest most of them.
Fast forward to three months ago. I’m in Provo – where I haven’t stepped foot for two decades since I attended BYU. I’m at the downtown performing arts theater. My sister has a role in the local labor-of-love theater group. They are performing Oliver!. I’m thoroughly impressed by all the local talent, especially the children performers. All the songs come flooding back to mind as I watch. All those viewings of that stupid VHS tape come back to memory. Yep, they’re doing a dang good job of this. Very impressed. Really enjoying this.
Then the little boy who plays Oliver comes out on center stage. There is no one else around. He is morose, distraught, abandoned, misunderstood, confused, powerless. Unloved. The music swells. He beings to sing:
Where is love?
Does it fall from skies above?
Is it underneath the willow tree
That I’ve been dreaming of?
Where is she?
Who I close my eyes to see?
Will I ever know the sweet “hello”
That’s meant for only me?
Who can say where she may hide?
Must I travel far and wide
‘Til I am beside the someone who
I can mean something to?
Where is love?
As this boy sings, I’m no longer a 40-year-old man sitting in a theater —– I am an 11 year old boy completely identifying with him. In Volume II I discuss the full-body memory experiences of those who have flashbacks of SRA trauma – and for the first time in my life, I experience one myself. It was earth-shattering for me. I had blocked this song for decades – buried it deep in my soul. As this boy began to sing, it all came back in an instant. I remember watching Oliver! as a child of Oliver’s age. I remember listening to this song. I remember identifying with it so completely. Everything that Oliver was feeling in his life: abandoned, unwanted, cherished by no one, misunderstood, treated as an ungrateful beast, a perpetual disappointment to all the adults in his life – all of this I felt just as powerfully at that moment in my life, and onward for the next several years – until I graduated high school – got out, got away, escaped.
All of those years of perpetual inner confusion and turmoil – flooded back instantly as that boy sang. Tears flowed from my cheeks, but that was because I was merely holding back with all my strength – inside I was sobbing. I was wailing and screaming. I was convulsing with the pain of a child unwanted by his parents and abandoned to the cruel world.
Despite having heard that song dozens of times as a child, I had actually repressed it completely and did not remember it at all, for decades, until that moment.
Three weeks later, I’m saying goodbye to my sixteen year old daughter. Our vacation is nearing its end. After living in Taiwan for eight years, she wants to attend high school in America. She will live with my father and step-mother. I don’t want this, at all – but I honor her decision and concede that it will probably be best for her. At least twice a week, for the past several weeks, I’ve silently cried myself to sleep thinking of my beloved little girl leaving my nest and being in the care of my parents. My parents. The people who gave me the childhood I had. And now the day had come that she was leaving with them. To be in their care. All morning, as we silently pack up our things and put them in our vehicles, I feel like my heart’s being ripped out. Where is love? Where is she?
In the last several minutes, I collapse in the corner of the room and start sobbing. My daughter joins me on the floor, holds me, sobs with me. My son comes and joins us. My wife as well. We all hold each other and cry, in silence. Where is love? Does it fall from skies above? Must I travel far and wide?
My parents drive away, waving. My daughter is in the backseat, head down. Trying not to cry.
I go back to get a few more things. Then the finality of it all hits me completely. My daughter is gone. I collapse against the wall, hold my heart, and convulsively weep. My sister sees me and holds me. She gets it. She’s glad it’s not her. She knows how painful it would be to give up her beloved oldest son to them. To them. Will I ever know the sweet “hello”?
That’s all I could manage to write at the time.
God bless you all. And God save you all from the insane presidential election in three days. Dear God, what a mess! Such evil, conniving people. I’ve been happy to be on the other side of the world, to be away from all that. Rock Waterman is spot on: what a tremendous national nightmare we are living through today.
I pray I have the recovery time to once again jump back into emails and this blog routinely again.
Thank you for your patience.