Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Letting Go

I awoke early this morning.

I often have vivid dreams, in full colour, in black and white--the tie in is, they are vivid, so much so that when I wake, I have a difficult time separating myself from what is real.

My father died in November of 2005, just after Katrina struck New Orleans, he sat and watched his beloved city go under on the news, yelling at CNN. I lost him, however, a few years before, when Alzheimer's started to claim him.

HRH has had the good fortune to have her 'closing', her good dreams with my father in them... where they spoke and she knew all was well with the man she loved deeply, who loved her in return.

I've only had one, brief dream of my dad... it was an odd one, and in it, he brushed me off... not wanting to talk as I so needed to do...it told me all was not done with us yet.

Early this morning, I had a long, long dream full of people I've not thought of in ages, of symbolic things (I wish I understood dreams!)....some made sense, as when The Investment picked me up, and my phone would fall apart...he's having problems rebuilding a car, I wish I knew what to do, he has no one to guide him.

Sometimes, I wish I hadn't focused on only being a mom.... and found someone to be a good dad for them.

The dream was all over the place--a puppy that wore a diaper, people from my past, huge black outs, a lamb I saved from jackals, a huge banquet inside with barren wasteland out...the main crux of it was this--my dad was there. He was eating dinner and talking and drinking and laughing... when this big dinner was over, we walked out, discussing all that had gone on, as we were wont to do... when a woman came over and said, "Aren't you dead?"

Dad responded, "Yes, but, I'm still here, so, I'm not sure what the hold up is...so, I'm enjoying myself."

He was in great shape, his eyesight was perfect, he could hear, he walked his usual upright posture, but, no cane, his head of curly, white hair was still there, his full beard was back, and the glint to his brown eyes, it showed his mind was back to being a catalog of everything, his wit crystal sharp. We sat down and continued our discussion of why the A bomb being dropped really did save more lives in the end.... when the woman approached;

"They simply haven't found you... those who collect."

At that point, I looked over, and a nice man and woman were walking our way, and I knew. I put my arms around him, and said, "Please, let me keep him this way...just awhile longer."

They shook my hand, introduced themselves.... I could have a few moments to be with him, not even time to call my brother out...but, what they would give me was access to his memories.

Suddenly, I had all of his past, right there... perhaps it was things he'd told me, I don't know. I saw him going backwards, his pride in his grandchildren, saw him weeping when my mother left,the struggling to go to college and work and be a father... because he never thought he should have had children. The fulfillment he had in his education. I saw him in the Marines, in Korea, as a young Eagle Scout....I could see him as a teen, sleeping on his right side, dreaming of a girl he liked, smiling...there he was, still so sick with scarlet fever, sleeping in a train car, listening to his parents weep, knowing his younger brother, Dominic, was lying in a casket in the box car instead of him. He blamed himself the rest of his life for Dominic dying. Years later, he always said The Investment was how Dominic would have looked and acted...they have the same face at the age of 5, the same droll ways and the same birthday...who knows? I saw him as a baby, my MawMa's face bending over him, putting olive oil, her remedy to give good, thick hair, onto his scalp... making a curl.

He held me close, as he was only able to do in his later years... like me, not good with knowing how to touch. I turned to call to my brother, D, and....

.... he was gone.

I woke up, crying. I woke up because I miss my dad. We weren't this close family, it was hard and harsh and I was fortunate that I learned to love him as a friend, as someone I wanted to have for my dad.

I was fortunate I learned to do what he liked, that we had the same basic personality, that I understood how he functioned. I was fortunate I had him around the last years of his life, even if he was cranky, in love with Judge Judy, and had lost the will to live.

Perhaps it's his birthday coming up.... perhaps it's going back to where he died... perhaps it's many things I've still not dealt with, I don't know.

I only know, I woke up, crying... again a little girl.

And missing my dad.


Bill From Gainesville said...

Life, thats what you write about so beautifully, and thats why you are always one of my first stops in the morning -- Life is a bitch isn't it? Its just hard. We care and we have joy and then we lose and get hurt. In between the ups and downs of it all, it is usually quite a difficult process this living our lives bit. I have this thought to think about today as I put about 250 miles on my car . Thanks Quin!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you lost your dad to the Bastard, and so glad that you received a gift on his birthday.

As for this moving thing: you and I need to talk. Not acceptable. Let me know if we're going to get together in your hood this weekend.

Peter Varvel said...

"I was fortunate that I learned to love him as a friend, as someone I wanted to have for my dad."

I envy that, and it makes me want to be that kind of good friend to others.

<3 I you, always.

austere said...

You can share my Baba. He's around for a little while, at 85. Come soon.

I feel your loss. Dont know what to say.

Oh Quin...

Anonymous said...

The love you have for your mom and dad is very special. my father died in 2000, and I'm not sure if I am through grieving yet; I miss both of my parents, and probably always will. Each day here gets me one day closer to seeing them again. Thanks for sharing, Quin, you are such a beautiful writer...

Alone on the Isle said...

You have inspired me. Tomorrow I am going to call my father and force him to talk with me -- it is time to put life behind us and start fresh. I am so sorry for your loss, and wish you the best on his birthday.

MrHarlequin said...

I just re-read my 6, not to read my words, but to check your comment, so I could repay the compliment.

"Quin said...
he loves you forever. this was a beautiful read"

Et tu

Amanda said...

Over several days I have been reading your words, working my way through July, June etc. I'm never disappointed.

When I read this particular piece. I cried. Sniffles, a few tears, gradually building into great big gulping sobs where I couldn't catch my breath.

With my dad, we are still at the laughing stage of 'what did he do???' when he asks my mum (wife of 40 odd years) if she fancies going upstairs for a 'bit' as his wife is out - all very amusing but we all know it is only going to get worse.

I had to write this without reading the piece again. So I could see to type without crying.

I love you Karen