Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dream Dad

About a month ago I had a dream. I was sitting around the big ugly round table in our kitchen on Venado Ave. My dad was there standing in what always served as our proscenium arch, the open french doors that led into the kitchen. I have so many memories of that doorway. Vaudevillian antics during dinner underneath its molding, mad dashes through it to see who was at the front door or a chaotic picture of the family at dinner through its frame. It seemed like we always congregated at those doors. In my dream my father looked like he had in his final years when cancer had aged him by decades. But he reached out to me to dance with him. We were always dancing in the kitchen and it was such a natural thing for him to do. Even weeks before he died he and I did a shuffling stroll with his walker to our own rendition of "The Sunny Side of the Street". In my dream I gasped as he swept me into a lively dance. I remember the feeling of complete surprise and the air filling my lungs. I gasped because he was so full of strength and vitality. It was so unexpected after the years of physical frailty. But it was so real. I felt as light as a child in his arms. We danced across the mustard yellow kitchen and it was so fun. I haven't had that kind of fun since he died. I really miss that kind of fun. It is the kind of fun that you have to make little noises like "wah" and "woosh" to as you're having it. And that is the kind of feeling that accompanied this dream dance with Dad.

For months now I have had an undercurrent of missing him while I go about living and doing. When I see older couples or hear about friend's parents going on missions I ache for the time my parents won't have together. When I walk into a rooom and I am all of a sudden so insecure and unsure I wish I could talk to him because I know he understood that feeling so well. I know we would swap anecdotes and bathe in eachother's admiration and end up feeling so much more worthwhile at the end. I'd like to ask him how he went on after his mother died. I feel like I am just getting to the age where I really need his guidance. How could I have known what to ask for before? I would so like to sit with him and talk to him again.

He has been there in many ways. His faith in the gospel was so relentless and persistant that it still assures me during moments of weakness. His love for the people around him, especially the misfits, colors every human interaction I have. The gift he and my mother gave me by simply working it out and being together gives every day in my marriage and as a parent meaning. I work harder and more cheerfully because of him. I want to give my children what he gave me. A testimony, parents who love eachother, good memories, admiration, assurance, and FUN. And in subtler ways too, he influences me every single day.

But I didn't have the immediacy of being with him again until that night I dreamt we danced together. Wah!Woosh!Wow! Thanks Dad, for the dance. I am so glad you're back to your old self again.
(I'd really like to do it again sometime.
Maybe on our birthday.)

Together on my baptism day


  1. Those dreams, they're a real gift. Occasionally, I will have one with Betsy and I wake up feeling like I've just spent hours with her when I otherwise wouldn't be able to. It really really feels like you've been given the nicest gift. Betsy and I didn't dance that much, but I do hope there are stairs in heaven, because I would give anything to be able to pinch her little bum as she runs away from me up the stairs like I always used to.

  2. Oh Bekah, how beautiful. The combination of having my pupils dilated from an exam earlier today and the tears that gushed freely as I read made it near impossible to see the words. What a beautiful experience and what a beautiful telling of it. I love you.


  3. Hi Bekah, dear
    I haven't been able to comment before because I signed up with my Yahoo account. I didn't know your Papa passed away until I read it here. I was so sad to hear about it. I have so many memories of your dad. What I loved about him, is that no matter how many kids were over at the Venado house - millions of friends of his kids, he would always pop around the corner and welcome me and say something funny or amusing and then pop away somewhere. He had such spritely energy. He always made me feel so welcome. I always remember this simple moment that stood out to me. Once after church I was over at the house and there were kids running all around and it seemed wonderfully chaotic to me and your dad was in your parents room -- I think at a computer although did we have computers in 1990-ish?? -- he was sitting at the desk by the door writing to Zilia and his focus was so intense that I could feel him concentrating. He was just pouring himself into it. I said hello and of cours, he said something quick and funny, and then he went back to it. For some reason I felt very touched seeing his effort. I know that giving something your attention is love. I picture him in Heaven popping around corners with his mischevious face, saying funny things and then getting back to business. I'm so glad he came to visit you in your dream. I love that he showed you his vital spirit and that he did it in a sneak attack way, which is so him, no?

  4. Holly,
    What a perfect characterization of him. i am so glad that you and your perceptive being were around to pick up on him so well. Your account is like another little visit. Thanks!

  5. "I feel like I am just getting to the age where I really need his guidance. ... I would so like to sit with him and talk with him again."

    My dad passed away when I was 21 (13 years ago). I understand your above statements so well.

    Thanks for sharing a part of him with us in your post.

  6. This glimpse into the "flyspace" of your Proscenium Arch was a gift to me today. You and words make a good pair, lady.

  7. Thanks, Bekah. I forgot to say how sweet the picture is.

  8. This is really beautiful, Rebekah.

  9. Bekah - So beautiful! I wish I had known your Dad. He was amazing.
    When I was young, I was very close to my grandparents. Both my grandpa and my grandma died within 6 months of each other. It was a sad time. But over the years the have visited me in my dreams. Their words, their joy and especially their love melt over me in those dreams. I believe those dreams are tender mercies from my Father in Heaven and my grandparents.
    Both your Heavenly Father and your earthly Father must have known how much you needed to feel that whoosh and their love!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. I read this post with a mixture of emotions. What a beautiful dream! How wonderful to see your Father again so healthy and to be able to dance with him! It made me miss my Dad so much, but you describe a closeness with your Dad that I can't say I had with mine. Not that we weren't close, just in a different way. So nice of your Dad to visit you, he's thinking of you too.

  11. it is february 26th. happy birthday. love me.

  12. I admit - I have avoided reading this post since you published it on your blog. Denial is a beautiful thing. :) But I finally got some extra courage and read it and I'm so glad I did. You're a beautiful writer. I still have my Dad so I'm going to do my best to have no regrets. :) Thanks Rebekah!!