Thursday, December 3, 2009

Window Pains and Rain

I had an eerie feeling. A presence around the corner feeling. Faint ghostly flashes of light that seemed to follow me around...what?....what was that..?
Time for bed. There are storms brewing in the south tonight. Time to hide under the covers and wait for the rain.

I first saw it standing at the east kitchen window looking out and down the hill towards the pond.
The body.
Sticking out from a log covered with leaves blown by rain and wind and promising winter changes. Legs I recognized. Arms I loved. I immediately knew who the grotesque indignity belonged to. Somebody, please help me get him out of that mess. I flew in the next room to call for help. We'd found him. Right under our noses all along. I called the hospital. The morgue. The police. The ambulance. The preacher. Any and all who could help me pick him up before my mother saw him in that condition. I couldn't look and yet I had to make sure nothing else happened to him. It was raining! I didn't want her to see and I needed to cover him up.

This is a dream you want to awake from. I did not wake up.
Boom! Crash! It's raining in Bloggingham. Wind at the window. Branches flying. Howls outside. Voices. Did I hear voices? Window panes rattled.

My brother, standing guard at the other window, watched for those who would come and shield us forever from this sight. Deterioration. Sickness. Decay. A body with no vibrancy or similarity or remembrance. To us, a painful vision. To him, a painful existence. It would soon be over though and he managed to guide my mother out of the house just they drove into the back door of Bloggingham and took him away. Such are jumbled up dreams.

Hospice rooms become your front yard. Legs become branches and beds hollow logs, wiry lines of agony-relieving-drugs morph slowly into twigs and trunks tangled with wet puddles of grace on the ground. Clean white sheets of white white death are covers of protection. Rotting leaves hide what daughters must not see. Nurses replace morgue workers and body bags carry your cradled up daddy to his spot in the old churchyard to a faraway grave of flowery rest beside his mother you know is waiting somewhere at an altar of years gone by.

It was over. He was gone.

I didn't have to see him like that ever again.
**maybe I should get the candles ready. The power could go any minute.**

Boom! Another crash! Rain beat down on my bedroom window. Half awake. Half asleep. Immersed in a dream of rain.

And suddenly there he was.
I turned around to stand face to face with my dad. Inches from him. He was wearing a bright yellow banlon golf shirt. The kind he wore on his way out to work each morning when I was a little girl. Neatly tucked in his pressed pants. Shiny shoes. A full head of dark brown hair curled thickly on top and shining piercing dark eyes that matched mine - staring directly at me - Daddy!! Daddy!! You're here! Daddy!

He looked wonderfully tanned and handsome. Virile. Strong. Sternly himself. Young. Alive. As I remembered him and yet had forgotten too. He was perfect. Whole. Healthy. My daddy.

I felt his hard shoulders underneath the shirt of banlon and smothered him with hugs and he placed his hand on the back of my hair, pulling me to him and kissing my hair. I couldn't let go.
I could see my sister directly behind us over his shoulder barely able to contain her joy and impatiently waiting her turn. She grabbed him too and we cried with happiness. Daddy! It is you! The joy on my sister's face was almost more than I could take in and the three of us stood squarely in a bond of unabashed love and power.

And then I sensed an urgency that he needed to leave. We were standing at the door. We had to let him go. But this time, there was no grief. Let me say that again because I still see it and feel it this morning. There was no goodbye.
There was no grief. There was no grief. There was no grief.
She was standing just outside Bloggingham's front door. My mother. We watched as he stepped through in a sure and purposeful stride towards her. He knew where he was and why he was there. Her face lit up with delight and they embraced. We watched with excitement. They were young and in love. Strong and together. Eternity, somehow, met the strands of regret and sorrow and sickness and we stood outside a world that was privy only to them...watching as they held to that which was good and alive. In the span of a few moments he spoke not a word to either of us - yet said everything we needed to hear.And then he walked away.
I awoke.

Just as powerfully as it began, it was over.

For awhile I lay awake in my grandmother's spindled bed staring into the darkness.

The storm was over. The rain softer. My bed warm and safe. The tears were gone and I felt a strange and sure sensation that I must remember and record every detail. I replayed it over and over....framing the sight of my father's curious yellow shirt - the smell of him - and the strength of his youthful presence just moments before.

I was shaken to the core.
How did he find his way through the long journey of flight to make it back to me? How did he know that I'd been haunted with flashbacks of graves and leaves and ugly storms? Macabre sights that tainted and distorted my memories of him.... How did he manage to find me in a pain of remembrance through all the twisted twigs and branches? How did he know what I needed..... How did he know that sometimes all I see are 3am nightmares of delirium on the third floor?
How did he know that what I'd witnessed had changed me so?
Why did he choose this rain soaked night? How did he come back from that place of rest and exuberance to ease my nightmare, turn on the light, and speak to the daughter he knows sees stories in every bit of thunder cloud she hears.
I don't know how.
But I do know that I will never.... Ever. Ever. Ever......forget the youth on his face, the restoration of his body or the strength of his arms. I don't know exactly where he is. I don't know what his new sphere looks like. But I do know that my daddy's favorite color was not yellow - you all know it was Carolina blue. Just for me, last night, he wore a symbol of strength and power and light.
And I know he's just fine.


Ferd said...

Oh my gosh, Mimi!
Wonderful shivers up my spine reading your words!
What a man he must have been! Returning even now to take good care of his precious daughter!
I'm glad for you, and thankful for his example. May I someday have the right, and the ability, to do just the same for my daughters.

Mimi Lenox said...

Ferd - It took me most of the day to put this experience into words and find pictures of Bloggingham that would place my readers inside the dream with me. I hope I accomplished that.
I am exhausted emotionally but changed with a new perspective....It was so much more than just a dream. I've had similar experiences before with this type of clarity and reaction...but rarely anything this viscerally jolting.

I have a picture in my mind right now of how he look in that shirt. It was the presence of my dad.
Plain and simple.
I believe he came to show me he was that I could move on from these memories of pain I've been living with of the last few months of his life.

I hope you could see him too.

Mimi Lenox said...

P.S. Ferd - You are an amazing father and you know it.

Anonymous said...

"How did he manage to find me in a pain of remembrance through all the twisted twigs and branches?"

Because he knew you needed him to. It's that simple.
Beautiful post... and an amazing dream.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - It was an amazing "dream." I'm not sure that level of realness can even be called a dream. But whatever it was truly incredible.

katherine. said...

you will always benefit from being able to put these experiences and thoughts into words...and to being open to them in the first place

sending you warm prayers and a hug

Anndi said...

Bees are yellow.

Silly Queen... daddies ALWAYS know.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - I've always been open to them. And writing? Well, that's a given.
Thanks. I needed the hug and the prayers.

Mimi Lenox said...

Anndi - Until you just said it....I hadn't made that connection. Awww....
Chills again.

Mimi Lenox said...

Oh! And big surprise, Mimi. DUH.

Mojo said...

If you wait for it, quiet and still, what you need will always come to you. Unfortunately, we humans don't do "quiet and still" very well most of the time. And that's why we have to wait for the dreams to bring it. Because in the realm of dreams we are always receptive, quiet and still and tuned to the channel that will bring us what we need when we need it.

We don't have any control over dreams, we can't shape them to our liking or change the ending. We're a captive audience until the show's over and we can't look away. Sometimes that's horrifying. Other times it's uplifting. Every time it's necessary.

I almost never remember what I dream. I wonder what that means.

Desert Songbird said...

My daddy hasn't come to visit me in a long time. I have a feeling he's due to come soon.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - Not sure. Huh.

Mimi Lenox said...

Desert - I hope he comes soon too. Hugs.

Charles Gramlich said...

Beautiful post. I think the rain helps give the past form. The rain often takes me back as well, dreaming or not.

Anonymous said...

My favorite aunt died of cancer a few years ago but I clearly remember the dream I had of her exactly a year after she had died. I was the only one in the family who had dreamt of her. She still visits me from time to time. They are there watching over us, Mimi.

The Gal Herself said...

What a terrific post! I have worried that it would be hard for you -- such a Daddy's Girl -- to make peace with your new relationship, but it sounds like you and Dad are working thru it just fine.

I also think it's romantic, and probably very comforting, that you know he's reunited with your mom. The universe is in it's order, isn't it, My Queen?

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...


Akelamalu said...

Mimi, your Daddy is just in the next room and yes he is fine. He just wanted you to know. xxxx

Bond said...

And forever he will be right there beside you...waiting to reach out so you do not fall...


Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - Rain is a healer for me as well. Alwasy has been.
Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mejis - I am sorry about your aunt. Amazing how close to the veil we live....

Mimi Lenox said...

Nick - As I said in my email...the goodness of God.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - The universe, indeed, is in order. Hugs to you. I always adore your comments.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - I believe you are correct. Smile.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - Cause he knows I might! LOL

Thank you for that comforting thought.

Michelle said...

Wow. That must have been so hard to write. (((HUGS)))

I'm so glad he made it through to let you know he was sunny yellow young, and loved you all.


There are dreams and there are DREAMS. ;-)

My grandpa (mom's dad) comes through strong. He's the scent of pipe tobacco and things moved or even dropped. He's been around three grandkids and four of his children/in-laws.

My cousin Frank came first (he's popped in again over the years) as a dream. He was little again (he was ten years younger than me) and I just knelt on the floor and hugged him... and hugged him.

My nanna (dad's mom) came only as emotion. I was sewing using some old lace she'd given me before she passed and WHAM - there she was in my heart.

Nanna made me cry the most, but they all helped ease the grief.

There is no great journey or vast distances - love is faster than broadband.

Red Shoes said...

God, its way too early in the morning to be crying... :o( All I can say is that I understand... *hugs*

Xmichra said...

wow Mimi... i am really glad that you had this dream-type-recognition. And I am happy to hear you at peace (not totally, but some) about your father. ((hugs)) it's a hard road, and I am glad to see you healing.

Red Shoes said...

Almost 11 months later, and this still has the same effect...

Man... I must be getting soft in my latter middle age... ;o)


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