A visit from Dad

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I woke up crying this morning. I had hit snooze a couple times, still mostly asleep, dropping back into a dream.

In the dream, I was talking to someone I knew, in the dining room of a house that seems to appear in my dreams at times. There was a little TV in the room, and it was showing one of the "Beethoven" movies. They showed the woman standing with some people on the porch of a yellow house with white trim, like she was a realtor showing the house to clients. I said "Hey, that looks like my grandma's house" and the camera pulled back, showing the house number as 174, and turned to show the open ball field, basketball court, pool and playground across the street, and I gasped, "That IS my grandma's house!". It was exciting to me, because I love that house, and to see it had been used in a movie was just cool. (Note: I don't know if a similar house ever was really used in the movie, and I'll have to look and see if the house number was 174 - I sort of doubt it was, but I'm not sure what other significance that number may have)

Well, the sight of the house started me reminiscing about 'grandma's house', and some of the little nooks and crannies Dad and I had found there, etc. (Thing is, these nooks, crannies, and passageways were part of 'grandma's house' that exists only in my dreams, and doesn't really look like Grandma's real house - it is a house that I've never seen or been to, but know very well. Dad and I have explored and done work in this 'dream house'. In my dreams, I know for a 'fact' that it is grandma's house, though.) I was telling about finding a narrow hidden passageway that zigzagged up the side of the house, between what people thought was the outer wall and what was really the outer wall. This led to more reminiscing, most of it things Dad and I had done that had made an impression on me. Like the time we were doing plumbing under our store in Elgin, PA, and found in the crawlspace a cut passageway tall enough to walk upright in, and a small room at the end. The room had old wood saloon doors on it, and inside I could see a wooden rocking chair and some shelves with mason jars. Dad and I think it was a little Prohibition-era thing, but we never knew for sure. It was just an amazing discovery (and a real one, not a dream one).

At some point between the tellings of my stories, the dream showed the room I was in again, only now I was in a small room with a bed, and I was sitting on the edge of the bed, and there were two doorways on the wall in front of me. The left doorway led to the rest of the house, and the right doorway was to another very small room, where Dad was sitting in a chair at a table, listening to me tell the stories. He seemed a little upset and said "You know, you can put all the coins and stuff we found, all the treasures, in a pile and take a picture, and it would be just as good to say 'here's what we found'." (I don't know what he means about the coins) And I just looked at him and said "No, Dad - it's not about the stuff..." and paused, then said "What I'm trying to say is 'Thank you for making it fun'." And I looked down, and I was packing a six-pack of pop into a black nylon cooler for him, just as I heard myself say in the most pain-filled, heartbroken voice "You can't DO this to me.." as I began to cry. I glanced up and saw him laying on a bed or something on the floor, just before I was lifted up through layers of consciousness to become aware of myself clutching a pillow....and crying.

I lay in bed this morning and sobbed until I had to get up and take the kids to school. And as I write this, the tears fall more. I miss my Daddy.


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