I’m one of those people who listens carefully to her dreams. They are often vivid tangled stories that make me wish I could devote 10 hours a day to letting them play out. A few years ago I started writing them down in this journal so that maybe someday my children will read it and I hope it brings them entertainment at the least: laughter, joy, insight, and the courage to believe in their dreams. I’ve dreamed many foretelling dreams and had a few encounters that might be unbelievable to some, scary to others, but to me, they have given me the strangest comfort. I’m glad I’m a dreamer!
Dreams warned me that my great-grandmother, my grandfather, and his friend Carolyn were about to pass away. (Separate dreams, years apart.) Dreams told me I was pregnant days before any drug store test could prove it. In fact with Dyl Pickles, I had the funniest dream that I was taking a shower, in my dad’s house, and my step-sister Amy was in the bathroom with me. (We are the same age, so it wasn’t uncommon for us to get ready to go places at the same time, sharing the bathroom.) It was like we were teenagers again. I was in the shower bathing and suddenly my belly button popped out. I knew what it meant, that I had a baby inside me, but still I tried my hardest to put in back in, even soliciting my sisters help. When the belly button refused to cooperate, I looked at her and said “I’m pregnant”, just then I woke up and looked over at my husband and said “I’m pregnant?” He couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. But sure enough, 2 days later, I confirmed what my dream had told me…
Before my grandfather passed away he promised to visit us in dreams. It’s amazing to me how many stories my family members have shared about his visits. Once I dreamed that I had this baby girl, but he had to take her back to heaven, because there were other babies that needed me. He told me I was going to have to take care of my sister’s babies long before I knew it was going to be true. Long before she even had a little girl, he came to me in a dream and placed her in my arms. I can’t tell you how much that dream guided the decisions I have made over the last year.
April always brings to me thoughts of him. I remember a few years ago. I had a Lotus, flip phone. Sometimes when I would text it would predict the next words I was gonna say so I could just click “arrow, arrow” and my sentence would pop up. It was especially useful if I were texting lots of people about the same event (because I hate sending mass texts) . Or if I was sending a text like “I love you” I would type “I love” and “you” would pop right up. The only catch is that it only guessed things that had been previously texted. Unlike smart phones that take a guess based on your spelling, it used past messages to predict future ones. Make sense?
So one day I started to send a text and I typed the word “See” and suddenly “Softy” popped up. Softy is what I called my grandfather. No where have I ever seen “see Softy” as a common phrase. It was nothing I had ever texted before. How did my phone know his name? He died before I got that phone… It sent chills down my spine, but they were the “peaceful easy feeling” kind.
I shared the event with my mom, because I was sure she would believe me. Then my friend Angi came over, and as I was telling her the story and the musical clown in my room started to play. No one had touched it, or been near it, I hadn’t even dusted it in months, and yet there it was singing away. I knew my grandfather was all around me, pulling me through the tough times.
He always finds little ways to visit me. I have this painting, over my couch. It came from my great-grandmother’s living room. As a child I always admired it. It mesmerized me. On first glance, you see beautiful magnolia’s, but the closer you look, the more you see the hidden pictures. Angels and devils, a shepherd, a China-man, an eyeball…the more you look the more you see. I stared at that picture all my life. My grandfather gave it to me years before he passed away. After he died, I often sat on the couch (I was on bed-rest), looking at it, thinking of him and all he gave me. When my baby was born, 41 days after his death, I found it intriguing that he always stared up at the painting. Wherever I sat him in the room, his eyes always managed to find the painting. Then one day something new appeared in the picture. Something I had never seen before. It was a Ram. My grandfather and I are both Aries, the Rams! I would have never noticed it without my baby’s fixed gaze on the very painting I adored.
Months after the text message, I had a day where I was particularly peeved with Blondie. A friend of hers had lived with us for several months, and as it often does with teenagers, that was going downhill. Blondie’s room had become a disaster zone, and I didn’t even have a clue where to start to get through the rubble.
I fussed at her, and she popped off. It made me terribly angry, and as most mom’s do at least once, I let it get too deep under my skin. Finally I decided I was gonna go in there and just start throwing things away. I got my big trash bag and stomped in there furiously. Then something on her dresser caught my eye. “How could this be here?” I questioned Blondie. “Where did you get this?”
“I’ve never seen that before.” She said stubbornly. I knew she had to be telling the truth, but if she didn’t put it there, who did? Hubby got home and I asked him about it, but he too had never seen it before. No one in our house knew where it had come from. No one had seen it before this moment. Strangely it looked brand new. And yet it had to be 50 years old, at least!
A little brown key-chain bearing the moniker “Reliable Garage.” That was my great-grandfather’s shop, The Old Reliable Garage, in Houston, Texas. My grand-father taught me a lot about family based on the admiration and respect he always displayed for his parents (Daddy O’ and Mama Jimmie) and anyone else he could remote claim as related. (Actually we had a-many not really related family members!) Daddy O is a story for another day, but I knew somehow my Softy had put that key-chain in my path, to remind me that family is everything. In fact, it’s the only thing. A messy room will not matter at the end of our days. A smart remark from a teenage girl will not stand the test of time. But family, that lives on, LOVE is the LEGACY! With that, all I could do was put the trash bag back under the sink, hug my Blondie, and help her clean the room. I realized a little organization goes a long way, and if I look closely enough, I will always SEE SOFTY.