In the first gray light of dawn, about halfway between sleeping and having to get out of bed and head to the bathroom, I dreamed I heard my dad laughing. I started to turn over, and realized that Husband was not beside me. Still not fully awake, I believed Dad had come for a visit, and my mate was being a gracious host.
As the first protesting ache of muscles moved from my ankles on up through my lower back, bringing my understanding of morning to full alert, a great sadness fell upon me.
Even from the bedroom, I could hear the clicking of laptop keys, telling me where Husband was sitting in the breakfast nook.
Oscar settled in a little more comfortably down by my shins.
No Dad wasn’t here and now. There had been just a little whisp of recognition, through a door opened long enough to let someone come in from the weather. Like a celebration watched by a girl hiding in the bushes by the porch.
That’s what it felt like, maybe I was on the outside looking in, even for my dream.
But I got to thinking about why my Dad might be laughing today.
Ah, yes, a friend, John Russell has left this world and marched on the meet the Lord.
I would say that my dad was there to perform Usher duties for his pal, and this is why I heard him laughing. I cannot understand the bonding of men, what makes them connect.
My dad’s old buddies are leaving us too often.
My earliest memories are of church and nice people. When I was about Pre-School age, a dark-haired lady named Dora was my Sunday School teacher. She was getting married, and said we little kids could come to her wedding! It was the first wedding I was ever allowed to go to, and my mom made me promise triple cross my heart to be good.
I still remember shoving my dress out of the way, being on my knees backwards on the wooden seat, and seeing how pretty Dora looked in her long white bride’s gown when she walked past!
I didn’t hardly know the man she was marrying, but I knew he would be nice, since she was real nice herself.
These two formed a family which would aptly be called the pillars of the church congregation. All the years of work projects, music programs, rides to camp, whatever needs to be done related to church members or activities. I grew up watching them be tightly married, their children following along just a few years behind me in school.
The last time I saw John and Dora was at a wedding. When I was back in the Valley at the end of May, my mom said I should go to the ceremony, even though my only connection was I had been in Girl Scouts with the mother of the groom.
We sat behind John and Dora that afternoon, there in the same building where we all remembered being at the groundbreaking celebration 40 years ago.
I greeted Husband in the kitchen (he had already brewed the tea!) took my morning medicine, then I came over here to find an e-mail from my friend Karen back in the Valley. She says she went to the Visitation last night. It was difficult, hard for her emotions. They have the bond for years of music programs. There were soooo many people there.
She will attend the funeral service today, when John’s sons will provide the music.
There’s already a celebration happening in the hereafter.
I know because I heard my dad’s chuckle this morning.
~~love and Huggs, Diane