Ponder this:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dad?

I like dreaming . . . and I'm good at it. I get colors and feelings of warmth, cold, breezes . . . all of it. Dreams give my mind something to do while I'm sleeping, like watching movies made especially for me. Sometimes my dreams are exceptionally vivid, and it's clear that some of them are my brain's efforts to work things out to a comfortable conclusion. 


Jan 24 2011 
I had a dream about my father. In the dream, he was in his mid-forties, a few years younger than when he died. I was younger too, but not ten as I was when he died . . . I was in my early thirties.
I saw him across the room at an AA meeting. I saw him across the big circle of folding metal chairs, and thought he looked familiar. Then I looked in his eyes, my teetotaler father's eyes, and saw wariness and regret, and apology, and I knew it was him. I got up and spoke about how my father had died when I was very young, my mother had been crazy and how I'd been pretty mad about all that ever since. I paced and cried and stormed and told the whole story, but I never said, pointing, "And there he is!"
When I wore down, cried out, I sat down.
Then he got up and said he had faked his own death and left two young girls with their crazy mother and he was sorry for that.
The AA people's eyes grew big and round as they realized the story that was being revealed to them.
I wondered if people saw a resemblance between us, and they said they did: our long arms and legs and the way we walked, and the way we held our faces in certain expressions, eyebrows raised, lips slightly pursed.


He and I talked afterwards. I kept asking him, HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US???
He hadn't known what else to do, he said. 
I saw you in the casket! You were dead!
I had pneumonia . . . was awful awful sick . . . and I had a thing in my side.
Did other people know? Did the undertaker know?
Yes, he knew.

He held me and I cried in his neck like the woebegone little girl he had left, but I didn't want to spend the time crying. I wanted to spend all the time I had smelling him.  I wanted to smell his hair and touch his shoulders and look in his eyes. I didn't want to look away from him.
I was so angry at him, and so hurt, but I was so glad to have him back.
He had me stay with him and his replacement wife in their hotel room. They had two little kids, who were staying elsewhere, but there was a child size trundle bed.
I eyed the little bed. Does he expect me to sleep in that? Does he think I'm still as young as I was when he "died"?
But there was a rollaway bed too, and that would be mine to use.
The new wife was brunette, and pretty. She had a boy from an earlier marriage.
Oh my god, I thought. I have become part of a blended family.

At the end of the dream, there was some kind of treasure hunt. Clues led me to beautiful heirloom items in my cousin's house, but she wouldn't let me have them.


Then I woke up, a little moisture in the corner of one eye.
I was not quite present in this universe until noon.

20 comments:

Wanda..... said...

Your dream must have been needed. After my dad's death years ago, I dreamed he returned with a message for me, it left me very comforted. I actually wrote it down, so as never to forget it.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Oh my god June, Im breathless at the implications and bereft musing s of your extrauidinary dream, yes and in tears....big hugs

ps., I hope his name was not colin, cause thats the password they want me to use to post, that would be too weird, I have never been given a proper name before though!

Grandmother said...

A great example of how our dreams take care of us. Which is to say how we eventually take care of ourselves with such fierce creativity. What a heart-breaking story though. I hope you've been giving lots of tender care to that bereeft little girl. Thank you for sharing this personal yet universal story.

June said...

Wanda, the only other time I had a dream in which I talked with my father after his death was a few months after. It was probably much the same as your reassuring and comforting dream.

CC, no his name was not Colin. That would have been just . . . scary.

Grandmother, I think the little girl took a great leap forward with that dream!

Barb said...

My Father died when I was 9 - I don't remember ever dreaming about him, but sometimes I would think he was actually there with me, telling me something important. My Mother died much later when I was in my 30's. I did have a vivid dream about her which I can still play like a movie in my mind. I can tell your dream is very important - you'll figure out how in due time.

June said...

Barb, what seems to be the remaining effect of that dream is understanding and forgiveness. He was eleven years younger than I am when he died. I would look at him now and think: "A kid. Poor guy."

Forgive me, all, while I work out my psychoses here in my blog.

Carolynn said...

Mysteries. Who really knows where the boundaries exist? Perhaps, our dreams are portals into parallel universes, or strange visitors' rooms located in an area just to the right of heaven's gate.

The Frenchman tells me that for months after his brother's death, his Dad woke up at 3:33 a.m. every morning.

Blessings,
Carolynn

Retired English Teacher said...

I think it was very healing for you to recapture the dream and write it down. Sometimes just remembering a dream that seems so real and yet reality tells us it was not, is helpful in understanding how deep our hurt goes into our hearts and souls.

I certainly can't interpret your dream, but I hope it helps you work out some of those hurts that have been with you for so long. God bless you.

Pauline said...

Blogs are great places to work out your psychoses. The details in your dream are arresting - and that lasting feeling of not quite being back in this universe. It seems a positive dream, though, rather than a negative one. I'm a great believer in alternate universes. Perhaps you visited one!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It's years before we can understand that our parents were just as fallible as everyone else . Perhaps we have to build our own lives first as a sort of armour round our vulnerable children's hearts .
In a non-Walton world it can take a while . You're doing well .

Linda Myers said...

Great dream, with all that detail!

All kinds of stories get shared in AA meetings, so I'm not surprised that's where you saw your dad in your dream.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Wow, that is an intense dream. I hope it helped settle some emotions. I can't imagine losing a parent so young. At 44, I just lost my mom and it's been very hard. I have the weirdest dreams about her six months later. I suspect that will fade with time or perhaps I'll have a surprise dream in the future.

Sightings said...

I'm lucky in that my folks lived to age 90 and died when I was in my 50s. My ex-wife lost her dad (who she didn't like) when she was in college, and her mother (who she did like) when she was in her 40s.

After her mother died, my wife always said she felt like an orphan. Honestly, I didn't get it. Still don't. But I wonder if you always feel that way if you lose your parents when they're young.

Vicki Lane said...

How amazing! I have had some dreams with departed family that took care of unfinished business - I hope that's how this was for you.

June said...

Carolynn and Pauline, I do wonder...

RET, I think it was a very helpful dream. I felt the emotions SO strongly!

S&S,Linda and Vicki, acceptance and forgiveness seem to be what it was all about. So...not at all surprising that an AA meeting was the "opening scene."

VM and Sightings, my cousin (hmm, cousin...) told me that when both her parents had died, she "was nobody's 'little girl' anymore." A powerful sense of loss that goes beyond losing the person who died.

Tracy said...

June, I often feel dreams reveal what is truly in our sub-conscious that we just can't access as of yet. What a pwerful dream with so many layers and while it is very traumatic and was for you as a little girl, you need to resolve some issues, or perhaps a new understanding?
blessings to you!

The Merry said...

A vivid dream, emotionally moving. Usually someone else's dreams don't have much resonance, but this one does.
About 25 years after my father died, my niece and her new husband came to visit my mother at the family house. My new nephew came down to breakfast and told a dream about how he'd gotten up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom, only to encounter a white-haired old man crossing the hall toward my mother's room. "I'm just visiting my wife," the old man told him kindly.
It sounds strange, but I believe it.

liZZie said...

Yes, I think along acceptance/forgiveness lines too. I struggle with forgiveness, especially re, self apparently, but I get to a forgiving place through understanding things better which is always retrospectively it seems, and dreams have helped no end in this process. The accepting of things one doesn't want to accept is a struggle but possible
~ some wisdom from age and experience if we're lucky. Sadly not everyone has emotional growth though, I know such tormented souls sometimes, and I've been one. I am pleased you are having healing experiences.

Morning Bray Farm said...

Wow, June. Vivid is an understatement. I have to write everything down as soon as I wake up to remember my dreams... same with you?

Dreams are simply an amazing thing, aren't they?

June said...

MB Farm, yes, I had to not talk and go straight to the computer and type with my eyes closed to record it all while I relived that dream!