These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

dreaming of you

last night i chatted with my mom for a bit. i hadn't talked toher in some days and we did a little catching up. in the course of our conversation, she mentioned that a friend's father, who's in his 90s, was diagnosed with the same type of cancer as dad had been, complete with it ending up in the liver.

it made us sad and we talked about dad for a bit, mom crying and me getting damp-eyed. she talked about how she saw him during the last few months when the ambulance came on one occasion to take him to the hospital and her seeing his small body on the stretcher, diminished and gaunt and in pain. she asked for god to take him and stop the pain.

this morning i woke up. it was a slow waking up, which in this case was good. i dreamed of my dad. it was the first in quite awhile. and the previous ones were snippets of dreams, mostly unrememberable.

in this one, he was sick, he had cancer, but had returned from the hospital. but in some ways, it was as if he had come back from the dead (i'll explain why soon).

it was very visual and clear. it was the ranch. my aunt's house. i was there, my aunt, mom and my uncle rene. my dad came in through the front door. he was wearing hospital type of clothes -- pajamas and a white cotton undershirt and slippers. he was thin but he was smiling. he sat down in the dining area and we were there with him.

he was his usual self, he was joking and making light of things. we were all in a good mood.

there was a knock on the door and someone answered it. someone came in. they were straight to dad and hugged him.

we sat down and continued talking.

there was another knock. this time i got up and went to the door. i looked out the glass part of the door and saw the ranch stretching out past my aunt's front yard and the field beyond. at the door i saw this person, shorter than me, wearing a large cowboy hat. his head was lowered and i couldn't see his face.

i let him in. i thought i recognized him and made a half-hearted effort to say his name, but the person kept walking. he saw my dad and ran to him, hugging him and crying all the while. it turned out it was ricky, my nephew. but he was bigger, older, probably 15 or so. he was telling my dad that it was good to have him back. my dad said he was Ok and it was all better.

as this part of the dream occurred, i started to fully wake. it started slipping away, melting into my brain. and now it's a memory just like everything else i have of my dad.

dawn says she dreams of her dad every once in a while. i forget if she dreams of him and he's sick or not or if he's dead or not.

in this dream my dad clearly was or had been sick. he wore the clothing i visualized him to wear during his last few months. he had little hair on his head, which was mostly white, which was mostly thsi past year. but it seemed like he was back, as if from a long sleep. i don't know, but it was nice to dream of him.

i'm glad i've got that, at least. i will not see my dad again, but in my dreams he's still there and will be as long as i dream.

still missing you, old man.


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