A Visit with Dad

Dad, Sister and me in the mid-1980s.

I had a great visit with Dad overnight.

That may surprise some of you, who know that Dad lost his battle with Lewy body dementia almost a year ago.

While I’ve done okay with the usual milestones – Father’s Day, Dad’s birthday and the other “first ___ without Dad” – the last few weeks has been hard. It started when I heard a Willie Nelson Christmas song, which took me straight back to Dad’s hospital bed hours before his passing. That’s been followed by very real, eerie flashbacks of that last week with Dad.

Last night was different. Dad and I shared a walk down memory lane in my sleep.

I know what brought it on. Some nights, my cat falls asleep on the sofa. Right before I go to bed, I’ll scoop her up and bring her to bed with me. I love doing this as it reminds me of long ago when Dad would scoop me up from the sofa and carry me up to my room. The memories are very fuzzy, but  they’re there. And last night, I shared them with Sister.

Overnight, I dreamt of that same time frame, and Dad was with me. It was back in Portsmouth. The house we lived in was being sold, and we had a chance to walk through; he was my guide. Strangely, though someone else lived in the house, our belongings were still  there. As we walked through each room, and I found various treasured items I would pick up each item, explain its meaning to Dad and then hold on to it dearly.

The dream was largely inaccurate. The house was much larger, and most of the item weren’t ones that I remember ever having. The only thing I do remember as accurate was Dad showing me a drawer full of shoe polish and me telling him that the smell of shoe polish reminds me of him. In real life, I vividly remember Dad shining his shoes on this wooden shoe shine box that contained shoe brushes and tins of wax. (A side note: While Mom did a lot for Dad – they had a very traditional marriage – I remember him shining his shoes when I was younger. I’ll have to ask Mom about that, as well as if she still has that old shoe shine box.)

Despite the dream being off in terms of accuracy, it was very comforting. Sister and Mom came into the dream sometime during the walk through the house, and it was good family time. Just before the alarm jarred me into reality, Mom rushing me in my dream, telling me that it was time to go. I was telling her that I needed just a few more minutes to find a decoupaged trash can that I made in Vacation Bible School. I hit the snooze button and tried to fall back asleep into the dream. I didn’t, but I did enjoy laying there and enjoying the great feelings that the dream conjured up.

I wish I had longer to think about the dream, but I have a quick trip  to Charlotte for a morning presentation. I do look forward to telling Sister about it and perhaps remembering more about it as I travel.


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