A while ago, I wrote this post called “Dead Guys Don’t Skype.” Basically it was about how confused the kids would get when we turn on Skype and there is grandpa’s face staring back at us.
Well, I still hold by my beliefs that dead guys don’t Skype, but it appears they might e-mail.
Allow me, if you will, to back up a step or two and catch my breath.
My mom said yesterday that on June 17th she had an e-mail from Dad in her inbox. That day would have been their fortieth anniversary. Well, if they hadn’t divorced shortly before he kicked the bucket, but let’s not worry about the details, shall we? She said the email was gobbledygook, but I think that’s still pretty impressive considering how hard computers are to use even for the living.
I’ve had a couple of dreams about Dad since he died, but two stand out in my mind. The first one: a couple of days before Mom’s birthday Dad just intrudes in a totally unrelated dream, gives me The Look, and says, “Call your mother.”
And the other one?
It must have been the day Dad died, or maybe the day after. We were still at the hotel. I was jet-lagged and miserable and surviving on coffee fumes, trying to deal with my kids and their jet lag and the awkwardness surrounding Dad’s living conditions (apparently he was staying with his girlfriend, but that wasn’t explained to me properly until we were on our way there,) and then the bastard up and died on us.
Well, it wasn’t quite as quick as all that. He managed to hold on till I got there. We had a nice afternoon together, lying on his bed underneath the ceiling fan. But I can’t talk about this yet. The salty tears will ruin my iPad.
I need to back up again.
Ever since I learned to hold a pencil, pretty much the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is write. I think that terrified Dad. He wanted me to have a skill I could back up on. He didn’t want me to starve like, um, we were occasionally close to doing on his preacher man salary. He wanted me to be tough and strong and confident.
But I’m not any of those things. And though once upon a time, I may have had other talents, as far as a back up plan? I got nothing.
So let’s just say, I didn’t get a lot of encouragement with the writing endeavors. But I know his advice was out of love and concern, and spot-on.
So fast forward till sometime shortly after Dad died. If you’ve never lost a loved one to the C word, it may sound weird, but when we first learned he had passed away, I was relieved. Relieved for him. Thankful that he was no longer suffering, that God had taken him without any hard decision making necessary on our part, that he was no longer constrained by an afflicted mortal coil, that he was free.
I was still in that state of semi-shock, when you can’t talk about that person in the past-tense yet, when you haven’t got your mind around the significance of what has happened, before your own sadness and self-pity set in.
I managed to get some sleep for the first time in days, and I found myself in this weird hazy place. There was three people there, two light haired men and a dark-haired woman, sitting on some steps. Another man was hovering nearby. I didn’t think I knew them, but they seemed to know me. The woman seemed like she wanted to approach me, but the third man tipped his head, and three of them walked away. One of the men had blue eyes. I think he winked at me.
The other man walked up to me. I didn’t know him at first, but then I looked into his eyes, knowing and green, and I knew it was my Dad. He had lighter hair than I remembered. He was young and his face was smooth. His nose, which had been broken and healed crooked when he was young, was straight and a lot more like my nose than I had ever realized.
He didn’t touch me; we didn’t talk much. I asked him, “What do people here know me for?” I was talking about the curious couple we’d just seen walk away, but he looked at me scepticly
Then handed me a pen.
At the time, and still today, I’m not really sure what to think of it. Hearing about the e-mail, randomly finding that navy button and Sea Bee pin the other day, it’s all left me kind of confused.
Wouldn’t it be just so extremely, lamentably sad if the people we have lost are desperately trying to communicate with us, but we are too obtuse and stupid and busy with our mortal lives to notice?
After the dream, I started writing a bit for the AFWJ journal, and after falling in love with The Gaijinwife, I started this blog. But I’m not sure how to proceed. I haven’t got my feet properly into the starting blocks. The lines on the track are a blur.
But I hope I’m stumbling in the general direction of the finish line, and that I don’t disappoint.