Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dreams of my Father

When I started up this here blog, it was to chronicle life with my daugther. My thoughts, my impressions, my experiences as her mother... but when I sit down to blog something.. it all flies right out the window. I think of some funny story to tell on the way to work or home from daycare and by the time I arrive at a computer, it's gone.

I've been off for a week and am catching up on my reader thinking I should find something to write about.. and then her post saved me... and I decided to steal a previous daily writing prompt.

The year that I turned 8, I lived in Germany with my father and brother. I missed my mother terribly, but I would not trade that experience and can honestly say that living in another country made for one of the best years of my life. My mother knew it would which is why she let us go. She is so wise.

Before returning home in the summer of 1986, my father became sick. My mother came to pick us up and flew home with us in late July. My father followed a couple weeks later. He was home for a few days, maybe a week or two, before being admitted to the hospital. I think he was there for about two weeks or so.

One Saturday morning in September, the phone rang. Early. It was the hospital nurse calling for my mother. She left right away. Before heading out I asked her if I could come too. "Not this time. Maybe next time." It was always the same answer. So I poured a bowl of cereal and turned on cartoons waiting for my brother to wake up and join me.

When my mother returned home, we turned off the television. She told us that she was informed when she arrived at the hospital that she was 60 seconds too late. My brother went to his room. I began to cry as the information she had just given us sunk in. She took me to the backyard and told me to pick a cloud. She told me that from that day forward, he would always be there, behind that cloud, watching over me and protecting me.

It's been 22 years since my father died. I've dreamt of him twice. Neither of them were bad dreams, but after the first one, I woke up terribly upset. I missed him. I thought about how he wouldn't be able to take pictures of me in my prom dress. He wouldn't be there for any father-daughter dances. He wouldn't be able to give me away at my wedding. He wouldn't meet his grandchild(ren).

The second time I dreamt of him, I got to visit him in our house in Germany. The best part was that I got to hug him again. He had been dead in my dream, but somehow, we were granted a visit. I don't know if it's me reaching out, if it's completely manufactured, or if it's real. But some part of me got to visit my daddy again, even if it was only in a dream. I wish he could visit more often.