It was Thursday morning, around 5:30 am on March the 03rd.. I woke crying, from a very real dream...
My dad passed away in July of 2010. 16 days after my wedding, and 40 years too soon. Cancer struck again.
I am having an especially difficult time dealing with his death, for a number of personal reasons. But one main reason, was that I felt like our book ended, too abruptly. I knew he had cancer, but because we had a distant relationship, mainly an over the phone kind of relationship- I failed to see how serious things had gotten. He also wanted to protect each of his children from the realities of his disease. Now when I think about it, he wanted to save us from going through what we went through with our step dad, Rudi, five years prior. I respect his decisions now. 2010 was a busy year for my husband Rob and I. We were planning our summer wedding and had our minds very preoccupied. I didn't realize how sick he was until I saw him... a few days before the wedding. It's amazing now, for me to realize that he came to Qualicum Beach at all. He traveled as sick as he was, to .. walk me down the aisle. To be there for me.
Dad disappointed us a lot in our lives. But he made up for all of those times when he was there the day I was married. He was unable to come to the wedding because he was in the final stages of his cancer. He was there on that day though, just like he is here in my heart today.
In my dream, Dad takes me into a building and says, "I'd like to be here for awhile." I follow him in and the place has a "legion-like" quality to it. There are people inside, drinking and visiting. There are also cheap casino games set up through out the room. There is a man sitting in an Oiler's jersey and I ask Dad, "Where are we?" to which he simply replies, "Winnipeg."
Now some of the details in the dream may be irrelevant. But the fact that I remember all of them, seem important to me. One very important part of the dream is that Dad is healthy. He looks good, and he is my dad again. He also LOVED the Edmonton Oiler's and the legion is a place that I remember visiting with him in, as a young child on weekend visits.
He looks at me, and says, "I love rock and roll." I reply, "I know you do..." My dad has always been a very talented song writer, musician, and singer. He was blessed with this gift and has always used it through out his life. He was an artist... and never failed to use his incredible talents.
He takes me into a side room and tells me that he is sick, that his heart is failing him and that he wants me to leave him there to die. I hug him and he tells me he loves me.. But I refuse to leave. I sit there, and watch him fading away quietly in chair. After awhile, he falls.. gently .. out of his chair and I rush over to him..
He winces, in pain.. and then looks up at me and smiles.. I am holding him in my arms when he dies..
I wake from my dream, crying .. very hard. So hard that I wake Rob.. Once I am awake, I continue to cry.. But these tears are different from the ones I have cried in the past. I feel rejuvenated.. like I've been given a fresh outlook on things..
When Rudi passed, I had a very vivid, realistic and memorable dream.. that I wrote in this very blog.
( To read about my dream of Rudi-- it's titled, "In A White Haze" under June, 2005 in the blog archives.)
My dream was a gift.. a gift from my dad. He was letting me know that he is still around.. out there somewhere. His spirit is still with me, in my heart, in my head.. and in my soul. He also gave me our ending. Instead of him passing away in a hospital in Drayton Valley while Rob and I were traveling from the island - in my dream; he died, peacefully in my arms...
He once told me about the first time he ever held me.. He looked down at my sweet face, noticing my little nose, and my little lips.. He said I looked at him, and he fell in love. And then in my dream, I got to hold him in my arms, and see his sweet face .. for the very last time, in my ending, in our very own.. sweet ending.
So thank you Daddy- for sending me a message.. this gift.. I will cherish it for always.. and I feel a little healed from everything. And, I will keep dreaming.. and hopefully you can pop in for a little visit from time to time.. I will keep dreaming a little dream for you.