A Birthday and Death

In my dream, my father answered the door of my childhood home.  He was wrapped in a large towel that he’d knotted at the waist, his hair dripping wet.  I must have arrived too early, or he was running late.  Still, it was wonderful to see him, even if he’d just stepped out of the shower.

I walked in the front door and stared at what had been the living room.  It stretched well beyond what I’d remembered.  Maybe there’d been a wall removed or maybe I’d been watching too much HGTV.

I’d come to see my parents, of course.  And I’d come to climb the stairs to the second floor and my bedroom.  It wasn’t there.  I walked the entire floor and couldn’t find a room that resembled where I’d slept, dreamed, did my homework, threw pajama parties with friends.

Confused, I walked in circles like Costaneda trying to find his “spot.”  I was certain I’d just missed the door to my bedroom and, if I kept looking, I’d find it.

No such luck.

My mother wasn’t there, either.  Funny, because she was always home.  There were four children to tend, dinners to cook, a house to clean.

When I awoke, I lay in bed and tried to understand what the dream had meant and what part of my subconscious had been tapped.

Then I remembered: my mother’s death eight years ago was two days away.  My father’s death followed by three weeks.  He died a day after my birthday.  I like to think that, even though he was in a coma, he heard me when I asked him to wait.  A gift even in the face of death.

July is a month of celebration and a month of memories, sadness and life review. According to Jewish tradition, happiness trumps sadness.  I plan on honoring my parents and having one hell of a birthday.



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