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Jessica Till

Jessica Till

Years ago, in the beginning of my freshman year of high school, i had this dream, just before 9/11. It was strong, vivid, and unlike anything I've ever experienced before. We've all had a dream at sometime or another in which we die or come close to dying....or kill somebody....or your dog get the idea. Well this dream involved my death, but unlike other dreams, it didn't end there.

Despite what the dream involves, I didn't really make the connection between my dream and 9/11 until years later, when I related the dream to a friend. It honestly never occurred to me. One scene however, came back with perfect clarity when I went through the temple for the first time.

By some miscommunication, I was the last of my family to enter the Celestial room. When I walked in, I saw my family standing in a circle,dressed in white, waiting for me to join them. The images of the dream I had and the feelings that came with it came back with full force. Whether it was supposed to happen that way or not, I am grateful that it did. It reminded me of my dream and the joy and peace that I wish to keep with me for life.

It took me a long time to write my dream down into a poem. After debating for a long time on whether or not to write it in the first place, it took me an even longer time to figure out how to write it. It took years to get it right. The feelings, words, images had to be perfect. I am still not sure if it's perfect or not, but I think it's as good as it can get.

Anyway, here it is. Hope you enjoy the fruits of my unending labor!


We were travelling back from somewhere

My family and I

Or perhaps were travelling to,

Though I can't remember why.

My daughter sits beside me

My husband takes the aisle

I gaze out of the window

My dread growing every mile.

Strange men have taken over

They say their cause is just

To honor their religion

We will die, because they must.

I try to shield my daughter

From the horror of this day

My husband takes my hand and asks

"How can it end this way?"

I shake my head and turn again

To look at land below

The city lies before us

The buildings start to grow.

All around us people scream

The plane echoes with their cries

My daughter turns to me and says

"Mama, will we die?"

Tears fill my eyes, I pull her close

"Yes, my child, we will."

My husbands arms encircle us

Fear and sorrow build.

We cling, we cry, holding tight

My heart within me rends

The tower is close, we're nearly done

We brace for life to end.

I hear a cry, a shout, a plea,

"Lord, let me feel no pain!"

My daughter trembles, my husband cries,

"We'll be together again!"

We smile now as people pray,

We know life will go on

Yet as the building fills my view

My fear is just as strong.

A jolt, a crash, a blinding light

And suddenly all is still

Darkness crowds, strong and thick

And I know we have been killed.

A doorway opens, light appears

Joy and hope now swell

I hear my name, called from a crowd

I know now where I dwell.

I'm surrounded by my family

And friends both loved and lost

Tears and laughter now abound

The prize was worth the cost.

Everyone is dressed in white

And holy is the place

I tremble now with joy and love

And the mercy of his grace.

The scene before me fades away

As if on gentle breeze

Two men now stand before my eyes

And bring me to my knees.

They call my name and beckon me

I find the strength to stand

Loving eyes now fill my view

As they gently take my hand

I feel their arms encircle me

And joy now overflows

They softly whisper, "Welcome home."

And the feeling only grows

My tears flow freely as the rain

The image fades away

I open eyes to see the sun

Slowly rising with new day

I'm in my room, tears stain my cheeks

It all had seemed so real

I marvel how a simple dream

Could such a scene reveal

The feelings linger with my tears

As silently I pray,

"Lord, help me never to forget

The dream I had this day.

The things I felt were real and strong,

The images so clear.

Help me keep them in my heart,

And may they never disappear!"

For death is just a passing

From one life to the next

A soft and swift as sleeping

A long eternal rest.

There is no fear in dying

When you know what lies ahead

In my mind, I've seen God's face

And felt his hand upon my head.

The memory of the dream I had

Will stay with me for life

And with each passing of the years

Will help me to do right.

For I know what joy awaits me

When I pass beyond the veil

And with my Savior by my side

I know I cannot fail.

I'm a very private person. I tend to keep things to myself, deal with life on my own. If the sky was falling and the ground covered in lava, I probably wouldn't ask for help, let alone talk to someone about my feelings (shudder). If I can't make it on my own, than what's the point? I know it's a pride issue. I freely admit that I hate asking for stuff, or talking about my feelings, because I honestly don't like the taste of humble pie. Too sour....or whatever.

I think it takes a certain amount of strength to admit you need help. And a great deal more to ask for it. And as long as we're being honest, I've never been the strongest person. I'm pretty sure I bypassed that boat entirely. But in quiet moments, and a private place, I do find a way to ask for help whether I think I need it or not. Yes, I'm talking about prayer. Seeing as how today is Sunday, it was on my mind....more than usual. When I'm alone and talking to my Heavenly Father I can tell him anything. I lay down everything I'm feeling, my fears, worries, triumphs and blessings. I can ask Him to help me with whatever problem I'm facing. It's easy in a way because He already knows. And I know, it takes some humility to pray and ask God for help, but in my mind it's different. Kinda like how I hate all things seafood, but I eat tunafish sandwiches. Tuna isn't seafood. It's called "chicken of the sea" for a reason. But I digress.

A long time ago, I found another way to "express myself". A way to say what I was feeling without having to actually tell someone, face to face, and thereby avoid that humble pie. Again, pride issue, but try to bear with me. I began writing poems and stories at a very young age. I never kept any of them because, let's continue being honest here, they weren't very good. But I found it was the perfect outlet for everything I normally kept locked up in the "vault". As the years went by and school taught me more about the intricate workings of the english language, I gradually got better and started keeping a notebook of finished poems, and saving whatever stories I started. A way to look back and see how far I'd come I suppose. It was probably my round-about way of keeping a verse.

The day soon came when a friend of mine, and then room mate, came across my notebook of poems. It was the first time anyone had seen them and I may have panicked. The thought that people might actually read my work one day, had never crossed my mind. I never planned for that, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Luckily, she liked what I wrote and my pride was kept in tact. A series of events soon led to me writing poems, songs, and stories for different occasions, mostly at the request of family. My "outlet" became rather more public than I was comfortable with. But as the great whoever once said, if you're living your life in a comfort zone, you're not really living your life. Or something to that effect.

So here on this site is yet another place to spread the fame of my awesomeness, and bless your lives with some of my writings. Again, this is my pride at work, but here I think it is well placed, especially since this is way out of my comfort zone. I leave you then with one of my earlier works. I rarely give my poems titles, but I think in this case we'll call it, Prayer.

Enjoy your peak into my mind!

Upon thy grace, Lord I rely.
Be my strength, be my guide.
Bless my eyes that I may see,
Thy hand forever guiding me.

Hear me when I call thy name.
Lead me back when'er I stray.
Wrap thy arm around me tight.
Be my shepherd, be my light.

Wipe my tears with thy soft hand.
Help me to forever stand
Upon the straight and narrow way.
Forever in thy love to stay.

Catch me when I fall, dear Lord.
Fill my soul with thy great word.
Calm my heart with thy kind gaze,
On thy right hand, keep my place.

And if I stumble, Lord I plea,
To feel thy strength uplifting me.
Forever, will I sing thy praise
As thou, my spirit gently raise.

According to the wise and immortal Tevye, without traditions our lives would be as shakey as a fiddler on the roof. I have found this to be true as well. Without our traditions, our culture, who are we? Tevye had his traditions challenged when his three oldest daughters chose to break tradition and marry a man of their own choosing. Each one straying farther and farther from the tradtions that had been passed down and respected since before remembering. Yet as wise as that milkman was, he didn't quite understand that traditions are not set in stone.