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.