The Dream Catcher

This is not a religious treatise; it is not a didactic tract. It is merely my take on the spirit world based on several events, one recent dream in particular.

In this dream, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t sad or angry, just confused.

Then Jimmie appeared.

“Ved, cancer’s no big deal. When it’s your time, come on over. The spirit world is amazing.”

Also in the dream was a neighbor of ours, who had been a draftsman at Jim’s office. Joe died at age 33 of cancer, some twenty-five years ago. It seemed he and Jim were headed to do something, something fun.

“If people only knew,” Joe said. “If they only knew, they wouldn’t fear death.”

I awoke at four with this dream feeling very real to me. I lay in bed for another hour or more pondering its meaning. I felt calm, content, comforted by Jim’s words. I then remembered another dream from a week earlier when Jim had conveyed the same message of peace.

Like others in various stages of mourning, I have certainly felt my love’s presence. A few months after he died, I was feeling so frustrated when I couldn’t find something. I buried my head in my hands and pleaded aloud, “Jimmie, where would you have put it?” An instant later, I knew where the item was.

That’s happened twice. I don’t remember the lost items, but I remember that immediate answers were given.

One afternoon, not long after my dad died, one of my brothers was at the barn working unsuccessfully on Mom’s lawnmower. Mike was sweating, worn-out, aggravated when my dad appeared, invisible, but flitting around like a bird.

“Don’t worry about that mower. That’s not important. It’s nothing,” he told Mike. “Hey, I gotta go. The boys and I are headed out.” My dad had seven brothers, and Mike sensed they were ‘the boys’ Dad referred to.

The first summer I was alone, my sister came up to help me repair an old wooden fence that is a short divider between neighbors, but doesn’t fence anything in or out. Elaine was armed with a drill, and we were using screws instead of nails to affix cockeyed pickets back in place. She’s a pretty efficient handyman. I’m not. If we’d had a third person, we’d have been Moe, Curly, and Larry.

A hawk flew close by where we were working, then landed in a tree at the edge of the yard. That bird made a sound like laughter, not screeching at another bird, no others around, but cackling at us.

“Quit laughing,” I called to the hawk. “We’re doing the best we can. That bird is…” I said, but didn’t complete the sentence because I didn’t think she’d believe me.

“Yep. It’s Jimmie,” she said.

The bird hung around a few more minutes, laughing the entire time, then it took off.

“That bird wasn’t actually Jim, but his spirit was checking on me,” I said.

“I know,” Elaine said. “The spirit world is something.”

You may think the Boyd siblings are crazy. I would not argue that one.

Or maybe we just say out loud what others have also experienced and are afraid to voice. Maybe our aching hearts reach out for hope.


I will just stay open to communications from the spirit world, no matter if it’s through a dream or a rogue bird.

Which reminds me, a good friend of Jim’s was cycling on the back roads near his home when a quail flew out of the ditch, a male quail, which usually wouldn’t flush because of a bike rider. The quail flew along right next to him, then landed ahead on a fence. When he pedaled past it, mere feet away, he said to his own astonishment, “Hey, Jim.” He knew instinctively that his friend was with him.

Birds…Spirits…Dreams…Hopeful hearts…

Who knows?

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Joe Murray had a life in California for thirty years–in films. Oh, he was never the hero, but he had steady work as the hero’s sidekick. Then he suffered a stroke at age 52. Could have been worse, he knew that. He could walk, he could talk, but he had difficulty remembering lines. His career was over. Five years earlier he had inherited his aunt’s old home in Joplin, Missouri, where he had visited every summer of his childhood. Now he retreats there to open a bed and breakfast with an older friend, Scott, a former pilot, who is gay. No one is straighter than Joe, but the two men form a strong bond, a new take on an odd couple.

Buster runs the contracting company hired to remodel the old Pope place into a bed and breakfast. Working in what the town has always referred to as a haunted mansion doesn’t scare him. But he wonders, is it just superstition or is something supernatural going on in the old house?

Claire owns the local bar on South Main Street. The Idle Hour is only blocks from Joe’s house, a great place for Miller Time. She’s a single mom, a former schoolteacher, and is a disappointment to her mother. But Claire wants to own her own life, not a life laid out by someone else.

These lives are intertwined as they search for the secrets in Joe’s new home. Joe’s Ghost is a story of hope and forgiveness as these folks come to grips with where their lives are heading and how to deal with changes they didn’t choose.