My dad, who died in December, has been returning to us in our dreams.
Yesterday morning my daughter said she had had a dream about Granddaddy. She wasn’t sure if I’d be happy to hear about it, or sad. (I was happy.)
I asked her what happened in the dream. She said that he was carrying something very heavy. G-ma (my mom) was there too. I asked if he had said anything to her. She said no, but he had looked at her and smiled.
Last night I was called suddenly away from work. Soon I was sitting around the dining room table at home in Fort Worth. My sisters were there, and so were Mom and Dad.
We were just talking. Dad was in his pajamas and looked old and a little tired, but he was talking with us.
For a few seconds it all seemed normal, but then I had a mental image of him lying in his casket, eyes closed, his wrinkled and cold hands folded calmly in front of him. I realized that my mental image was a memory. He was already dead. Except, he wasn’t. He was right there in the room, talking with us.
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Am I dreaming?”
I knew I wasn’t, of course. There were a million tiny details about the scene that told me I was fully awake. I asked the question, not as a real question, but rhetorically — with the wonderment of someone who is experiencing a miracle.
“Don’t worry about it,” Mom said. “We’ll explain it later. Just give your Dad a hug.”
So I did.
It was a long hug. He was so warm! not cold and stiff like he had been in the casket. I squeezed hard, and Dad squeezed back.
And then I woke up.