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.)
Maybe on our birthday.)
Together on my baptism day