Vibrant dreams (literal dreams) run in my family.  There was a point when my mother had to forbid my father to watch spy shows (he loved 24 with Keifer Sutherland) after he karate chopped her in her sleep in order to protect the President.

When I was younger I used to remember my dreams vividly.  Beau does now, and has even begun to keep a dream journal.

As an adult, I often have the frustrating experience of feeling as though I’ve had a significant dream, but not being able to recall the details.

Since my dad’s passing, when a dream has involved him, this inability to remember has been a bit crushing…like receiving a message he didn’t get to complete. I’m left hoping my subconscious mind was able to decipher it.

Last night’s dream as powerful, and I remember it all.

We were having dinner on the beach, my family and I. Suddenly, there he was – my dad, arriving for the gathering as if we’d been expecting him. I ran across the sand and lunged at him with an embrace one can only imagine giving someone whom you never thought you’d see again. 

He was bemused.

You see, he had no idea he’d been gone.

My family and I exchanged glances through teary eyes – should we tell him he died? Or that we thought he’d died?

That would be quite a shock. I mean – what if we tell him he died, and he has a heart attack and dies again?

Wordlessly, we made a pact to just carry on as if this was an expected turn of events – him being there. He plopped himself into a beach chair as we tried not to suffocate him with our need to remain in close proximity. We didn’t want our desperation to be near him to give us away.

We soaked up every moment with him…because we’ve missed him so, and because in our hearts we knew this couldn’t last.

When I got up this morning and looked in the mirror, and I saw the salt marks lining my face.  I’d been crying in my sleep…but I knew they hadn’t been tears of pain or sorrow, but tears of happiness.

I had felt that lunging hug with my whole body.

I had gotten his entire message this time –

He is still here. 

I ache for him to be here in the way he always has been, in his physical body. Still, I can’t overlook the fact that, albeit in an altered state, he is still very much with me.

He can exist here timelessly, showing up for parties…and maybe even karate chopping the occasional bad guy (as he was wont to do).

 Photo by Alexis Harvey

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