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.

Monday, January 21, 2008

what's up with the temperature?

it's been a helacious week, with emotinos running the gammit at work, people reeling and shocked and so forth. it was a long week and i'm glad it ended.

we had plans to go to chicago to visit laura and little nicholas. it was all dependent on the weather. we were to have snow late thursday. friday and into the weekend. dawn didn't want to drive in the nsnow and since it would be lake effect, we'd get it until we made it around the bottom side of the lake into indiana. so we bided our time and we ended up going saturday morning with overcast skies and periods of snow accompanying us on the way. lest i forget, temps dipping into single digits in holland, too.

i got little sleep friday night. i ended up talking to abby for more than two and a half hours. we had catching up to do and it was great. lots of talk about books and work and movies.

up early saturday, i crawled outof bed, neglected to shovel the drive (i'd wait until we got back, even though i knew i'd probalby regret it), and off we went, packing light and filled with snacks, compliments of evie.

as i said, it was crappy until we got into indiana. then...the sun came out and we had sunny skies all the way to chicago and the entire weekend there. however, the temperature was drigid. it was -3 and -20 with the wind chill. it was one of those deceiving days with nice sunshine, but damned cold.

we arrived shortly after lunch and just chilled the rest of the time with laura and nicholas. todd had to run up to mich. and we didn't see him.

the tyke is cute. he was fussy saturday and he didn't interact much, but sunday we got to seehim and dawn carried him with no problem. it was crazy. he makes the funniest faces, from being surprised to an old man face. cute as a button, he is, and not yet tw0 months old.

when laura had free time, after putting the baby down, we chatted, lots of movie talk. she a big fan and so are we. we exchanged opinions on flicks. i asked her what she thought of the "big" movies of 2007: "knocked up" and superbad." she didn't like them much and thought the hype was much. i thought the same. i'd seen "knocked up" and thought it was ok, but it didn't blow me away. then i rented "superbad" and thought it was worse. i liked the sentimental parts between the two kids, but those pieces were far and few between. the cops in the movie really ruined it for me. i could have done without them.

we eneded up seeing "inside man" while there. ok.

we got caught up on smut tv. since we don't have cable, we don't get to watch "interesting" tv. dawn had talked about "celebrity rehab" and we got lucky and caught the first two episodes. christ, it was a trip. jeff conaway it soooooo messed up that it's not even funny. i couldn't get enough of the show and was disappointed they only showed two episodes. however, after the second one, we sawthe premiere of "rock of love." holy crap, those chicks are all over a has-been like bret michaels. i don't get it. he's pretty sleazy. still, quite entertaining. such a shame we will not watch the rest of the season.

we got back sunday about 10 minutes before dawn tutored. i went with her to thelib. to drop off crutcher's "king of the mild frontier" (which i recommend to everyone) and pick up "into the wild" to read and "theborne ultimatum" to watch this upcoming weekend.

i ended up having to shovel and it kicked my ass. the snow was pretty piled up by the street from the plows. it was exhausting. ah! now i know why the side of my body hurts. i oculdn't figure it out until now.

we spent the rest of the evening here finishing up "supernatural" and flipping to see the packer/giants game.

as usual, dawn thinks i should stop watching these games. i get a little to excited and start cussing and making hand gestures and other things. it's my competitive spirit. i don't know why, though. i have nothing to gain or lose from any team winning or losing. however, i have favorites.

while i was bummed the patriots won, i was pleased the giants are going to the super bowl. they're kicking ass. i think they might take the patriots. i see them beating them. close games, but i'll give it to the giants. is it the first time a wild card team wins the super bowl? i dunno.

go eli!