Ghost of Father's Passed

I had a dream about my father last night. I don't have them often, but when I do, he is as clear as day. I can see him, smell him and feel him, as if he is really alive. My dad died ten years ago and at this point talking about it is just biographical information about me. I can speak very matter of factly about how he died and not be emotional. Every now and then though, and thankfully when I am alone, I get what I call 'hit by the 2x4". Those of you who are members of "The Club" will understand what I mean by that... that deep place with in your soul that gets ignited with an unexplainable feeling of loss. It can seem at times unbearable.

It is interesting to notice the differing reactions between those in The Club and those not when sharing stories of lost parents. The Club members listen, nod their heads, maybe have a painful moment with you and may even share a similar story. Non-club members tend to vary between looking super uncomfortable, attempting to change the subject, and being overly vocal and sweet. It is a tough one. Trying to explain such loss to someone who is not a Club member is like trying to teach a five year old algebra.

I didn't remember my dream from last night until this afternoon when I was on the train listening to my Ipod. A song came on that reminds me of my dad. He had actually given me the CD of the artist. "WHAM!!" went the 2x4. I managed not to cry, which I guess is good thing when traveling on public transportation. I did, however, have that familiar pattern of looking back to ten years ago and who I was at that time... a silly, immature 28 year old who just couldn't get her life together. My father loved me in spite of this of course, but I can't help but wish he could see me now. There I was, sitting on Metro North, commuting back to Connecticut from New York City in a sharp looking grey pin stripe suit...an independent, successful woman who is living a life that he would have loved to be a part of.

There have been non-Club members who say in moments such as these, "Oh, but he is up there watching down on you," and then have the audacity to smile at me. I'm sorry, but that does not work for me. My father is dead. I could not call him at that moment because I was thinking of him. There are no conversations, no embraces. I do not see him in my waking hours. The woman I am today... the kind of woman he raised me to be... he will never know.

I am not bitter about this. Quite the opposite. I believe part of the reason I am who I am is because he died. Being one of daddy's girls was a good reason to be the lost child I was. He was very loving and a bit too permissive of my irresponsible nature. With out him, I had no excuse but to get it together. It took a couple of years where I basically stayed drunk and crawled through my days with a hangover, but eventually I hit my bottom. Only then, after I put down the cocktail and cigarettes, could I grieve him soberly & properly... and find my way.

So, when I have these dreams, I cling to them and hold them precious, as they are the closest I will ever get to him again while I am on this earth. I like to think of it as a haunting, where he really IS here, and can see me... the real, happy, healthy me.

In the meantime, I can turn my Ipod to the song that makes me think of him. I do not consider it a coincidence that this CD with this song was given to me by him. It was meant for moments such as these.

"We're All Alone"
Rita Coolidge

Outside the rain begins and it may never end
So cry no more on the shore
A dream will take us out to sea
Forever more forever more
Close your eyes and dream
And and you can be with me
'Neath the waves through the caves of hours
Long forgotten now
We're all alone
We're all alone
Close the window
Calm the light
And it will be alright
No need to bother now
Let it out
Let it all begin
Learn how to pretend
Once a story's told
It can't help but grow old
Roses do
Lovers too
So cast your seasons to the wind
And hold me dear
Oh, hold me dear
Close the window
Calm the light
And it will be alright
No need to bother now
Let it out
Let it all begin
All's forgotten now
We're all alone, oh-oh, we're all alone
Close the window
Calm the light
And it will be alright
No need to bother now
Let it out
Let it all begin
Owe it to the wind, my love