Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dream A Little Dream of Me

And it's fading now, fading away
It's only a dream;
Just a memory without anywhere to stay
- Neil Young

Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
- Stevie Nicks


Dear Rachel,

Last night I had a dream about you. Oddly, that's a very rare occurrence—or perhaps it's really not; perhaps I simply forget the dreams as soon as I awake, as I forget most of my dreams. It may be that I recall this one so clearly because the anniversary of your death approaches.

In my dream, you and I were traveling cross-country. I don’t know where we were going or why we were headed there, but we were driving your car, I think, and taking our time; just a nice, pleasant, leisurely jaunt of the sort that we never actually got to take together. The majority of the dream—or at least, what I remember of it—took place in a restaurant at which we had apparently stopped for dinner. (You were much better behaved at this restaurant than when you were four years old and we stopped at a Coco’s in California. We happened to drop in right in the middle of a rush occasioned by that chain’s popular senior citizens’ discount. You sipped a hot chocolate and looked around at all the people eating their dinners, your big brown eyes peering over the mug. “Dad,” you said very loudly, “why are all of these people so old?!”)

In my dream, we didn’t know anyone in the restaurant (not a chain this time, but an old house converted into a sort of funky diner) when we first entered, but by the time we were having dessert (and when did either of us, left to our own devices, ever skip dessert?), you had made friends with everyone in the room. This was no surprise at all, of course; that’s just the way you were—outgoing, friendly, gregarious. You couldn’t possibly enter a room without making a new friend or running into an old one. You were simply a companionable person, and a joy to be around.

This was a lucid dream: That is, in my dream, I knew that I was dreaming. I remember thinking to myself, “This is only a dream, but isn’t it a beautiful one? I’m with Rachel again, even if only for a little while and even if only in a dream.” One takes what solace one can find.

I can’t have you back, not ever. But last night we were together again for a few bright, happy moments.

Love,

Dad

6 Comments:

Blogger ellen said...

Months ago I was looking for all of the words to The River Is Wide. I found my way to your blog. At the time I was unable to post comments. Your story is heartbreaking and no words can make is any less painful. I just wanted you to know that I have thought of you and your family often. Perhaps with your dream the river just got a little narrower.
I wish you peace and comfort.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Rod said...

Thank you, Ellen. What a lovely way of putting it. Maybe some day the river will just be a trickle.

4:52 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

hey..me again. I doubt the river will ever be a trickle...I think it will ebb and flow. It will change back and forth through the seasons...in the full spate of despair and anger, in the gentle flow of a calmer space, a little murmur of love and comfort...Build me a boat that can carry two.
Forgive me if I presume too much and invade your space. I do not mean to.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Rod said...

You're probably right about that... No, you're not invading my space; thank you for your kind words and for your comments.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Rod,
I have been following this blog for a while now and I have been really moved by it, time and time again. Rachel sounds like she was as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, like someone I would have befriended in a heartbeat. I hope that your family continues to heal and find peace. Thank you for this blog, you should know that it helps people that you don't even know.

With Love,
Jennifer

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Rod said...

Thanks, Jennifer, for stopping by and for your very kind words. I hope it does help a little; I know that writing it -- while often painful -- has helped me some.

1:12 PM  

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