On Saturday morning, I woke from a dream.
I had been working as a field hand picking cherries.
From inside a building there, I heard someone playing my dad's arrangement of
"God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again," and went inside to hear
it. It's one of his arrangements that isn't recorded.
I think it was my mother playing and she was piecing some things
together, kind of a variation of the hymn and then playing a verse of dad's that we had.
My sister Susan was standing there, too.
As Mom started to play it again, I was washed in emotion as I thought about my dad
and felt, again, that deep pang of missing.
Susan came and stood by me, we hugged each other,
and in a moment, we were both sobbing.
And I woke up.
Kind of funny, because I spent Friday night cleaning my house.
It was driving me crazy.
Folded all the laundry.
Vacuumed the entire house.
Mopped all the floors.
Soaped out my kitchen sink.
And as I stood there at the sink in the late-night quiet, I was thinking about him.
Sometimes I think about my grandparents, and how it wasn't that long ago that they were in the busy stages of life that I'm in.
They were raising kids and pursuing careers.
They were chatting with neighbors and laughing in kitchens.
They were involved and vibrant in their communities.
All but one of them has gone on--in almost just a moment, really.
Reminds me of another dream I had years ago that left an impression on me. I had just died, and my spirit literally went up through the ceiling of the room where my body was laying. And as I went through the ceiling, I went into a room of people and immediately found my father and aunt. They were laughing and happy and talking.
It was just as real there as life here and I was struck by how familiar it felt, as though nothing had changed.
But I remember feeling distressed because I was thinking of my little sister, still here. I knew she was crying because I'd died and I wanted to comfort her.
The older I get, the more I realize that our time here is short,
what we do here matters, and we will go on sooner than we think.
And I realize that the things my ancestors gave me--
their strength, their convictions, their examples, and their love--
are just as active through the veil that separates us as they were when they were here in the flesh.
I can feel those things, even though I can't see them,
and it's strong--
especially from my father.
Someday I will see him again, and I'll run.
And when I get to him, I'll hug him and hold on.
And I'll thank him for hovering over my life.