I dreamt of my parents last night. What’s odd about this is I never remember my dreams, much less dream of them at all.
I woke up with my face wet with tears. They streamed down the sides of my eyes, finding their way down to the line of my top lip. As my thoughts cleared, I realized I was laying in my bed next to my husband, not still talking with them.
My parents died years ago; first my dad and then five years later my mother. I didn’t have the best relationship with them; tumultuous is putting it mildly. I can see now they practiced on me (as all first born children can attest) before they had my five siblings. I was a force to be reckoned with. A learning experience to be sure.
I don’t think they knew what to do with me, this head strong, freckle faced, undiagnosed ADD kid with a mind that never stopped, nervous ticks that interrupted conversations and embarrassed them, and the propensity for music and dance. Everything was always LOUD, the music, the talking and the screaming. I was LOUD. I think I just wanted to be heard. The more they tried to silence me, the louder I became.
But there was tenderness and sweetness during those times too.
My father was a fan of “reality experiments” before it became a catch word of social media. He was always taking either still pictures of us all with his Polaroid instant camera, or his Kodak movie camera recording every event. He was known for turning on the tape recorder he kept on the top of the refrigerator to record us, unaware he was not only recording our conversations, but history as well. We loved nothing more than hearing those tapes played back weeks later, laughing at how high pitched our voices sounded and not remembering saying the things we said to each other.
So I guess it was only fitting that they would both come to me in a movie, wrapped inside a dream. I watched the screen as they talked to me, sitting closely together and holding hands as they always did. I would pinpoint their age to be in their early 50’s, younger than I am now. I don’t know why they chose to show themselves to me at that age. They seemed so old back then.
They were both smiling at me and telling me how happy they were for me, that I had finally found happiness. They said my husband was a good man, and that they watched over my kids. They weren’t the best grandparents either when they were alive, but somehow I sensed regret in their voices when they ‘spoke’ about it. I guess its enough to know they watch out for them now.
It was comforting to see them sitting there together, talking to me as if we were at the kitchen table having a cup of tea. They told me I was brave for getting on a boat, after being terrified for so many years after nearly drowning. They said they watched over me and my sweet husband as well, even though he was an old sailor at heart and didn’t need their help.
I laughed at their characterization of him and suddenly I was awake, the dream over as quickly as it started. There was no goodbyes, no fading out of their bodies, or any other ghostly images one has when they think of spiritual visits.
Opening my eyes and dabbing at my wet face, I hadn’t wanted the visit to end. I was glad they visited me together, and so sad to see them go.
“Bye” I whispered, the catch in my voice waking my husband.
I will be surprised if they visit me again, as there seemed such a finality to their departure.
He saw the tears on my face, held me close and whispered Everything is fine, not even knowing what I had been dreaming about.
I believe him.