Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Waking up

I had the most horrific nightmare about my Dad last night. I've had these kinds of dreams before - many of them in the 23 years since he had his first heart attack - but this one was the most chillingly realistic one I've ever had. I woke up panting in fear with tears rolling down my face.

Such a nice start to the day, waking up from a dream that your father has just died.

All the elements were there - the phone call from my Mom, the empty chair once we got to their house, the glass of wine on his end table half finished with his lip marks still on its rim...

I just can't believe how real it was - and how real the horror and grief was too. It scared me to feel that much sorrow soon.

I went over to their house first thing this morning because I had to see him. It wasn't enough to know that he was okay by hearing his voice on the phone (or my Mom's reassuring me that he was alive and well). I had to see him.

Is this how true lunacy starts?

When I walked in the front door it was like I'd somehow managed to turn back time or raise him from the dead. It was very surreal seeing him standing in the kitchen, clearly happy and as healthy as possible given his heart condition. He wrapped his arms around me and told me how good it was to see me, and all I could think was, "you have no idea!!"

Today felt like a gift. My Dad was taken from me during the night while I slept and given back to me in the morning when my eyes fluttered open in terror.

I know the day is going to come when I'll be living that nightmare too, but it wasn't today. Thank God.

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