In My Dreams...
Tears flowed freely down my face today.
I'm driving home from work and have a memory of my father. Or was it a dream. Or was it a visit.
My father used to visit me - when I was awake or when I was asleep. It was not a dream. I would dream of my father - a character in my dream. I would say, "I had a dream about my father last night". The dreams were clearly dreams.
Then there were the visits. He would visit my in that space where I was not asleep and not awake but conscious. I could still register the goings on around me but I wanted to be unconscious and that's where he would be.
Shortly after he left the Earth, I would feel him close. He was very close. He was still tethered to me or life or something. I could feel his presence, almost at will. I would feel the surge of energy and of love. The electricity of a life that was so connected to mine would flow, the force whose life was the cause of mine.
That feeling came today in the mindspace when you're driving but not really thinking. That feeling came that today for the first time in decades. As he drifted further and further away over the years, I thought the tether had been severed. I thought that he was in the place he was supposed to be, into the other realm of spirits, when they have no reason to hover around the Earth and find their place back in the knowledge of the universe, perhaps to await another fleshy vessel over a period of time we cannot comprehend.
Or was it a dream? Or merely a thought? I do think of him, sometimes wistfully. Sometimes in times of need. "I wish Daddy were alive." I am okay with that, but this time, I'm not so sure. I have not felt his energy, his presence, for a while, but today after I felt him. I registered the void. I urgently missed him. What have I been missing? I think of the choices that I made which would not have happened if my father were alive. a couple become very plain to me.
I think about my cancer. I'm glad he wasn't alive for this because it would have hurt him. It also would have kicked him into Daddy Overdrive and he would have taken over to find the best and the biggest and get to to this person and that person when my treatment was exactly what it should have been. My dad would have found the "proper way" to treat cancer so that he could say, "My daughter is going to Sloan-Kettering!", as if I had earned entry into a respected establishment, recognized by all as the Ivy League of cancer treatment - Name brand cancer treatment. The Best.
I'm glad my father is not alive to see these current events. I'm glad my father didn't live to see the 9/1//2001 attacks. Dad hated Donald Trump as a lifelong New Yorker and knew him to be the deadbeat slumlord who didn't pay his bills. Trump was the prodigal son who squandered what he was given, the lottery winner who didn't really know what to do with anything of value. But the Donald's highest crime in my father's eyes was that he was vulgar. I recall seeing him at The Met from the box above and my father muttering insults downward with a chuckle and a snort, like the two old men on The Muppet Show. Trump was guilty of the horrifying crime of being undignified. My father's political affiliations were more about class than anything else, so bringing the trailer park to the Capitol would probably have put my father in his grave.
I'm fine, I tell him, but I'm crying. I'm really fine but now that I feel you here, I miss you again. I don't normally miss you, or I do in a very matter-of-fact way that is normal when you are long past grief, but also this strange sensation as I swore I could feel him close again as when he was here. Has he returned because there are extraordinary times? Or is it because I could really use him right now and wishful thinking has sparked my imagination? I'm okay, I'm really okay, I keep telling him repeatedly.
I'm confused because it's the same experience as those times he would visit me, before I was in a dream state, before my eyes darted reflexively and I could not be reached with sound or touch. I am awake. I feel him. I felt it too much. Whether is was a wish or a perception, it felt like those times when awareness allowed me to enjoy his presence, to feel his love and to basque in this halo of energy that let me know I was protected, watched, cared for, enveloped in a shield, a warm cocoon where nothing bad can happen.
If I grasp the feeling too tightly, the joy of the moment will pivot into a spell of despair. I have to be in the space where it is love and not melancholy from the past. i have to release it to retain any of the goodness of this experience. I wipe my tears away and unlock my front door.