It is a strange country ---- this region between my ears. More so at night, when I am asleep and my control is subdued. For others, night time is down time. To me, it’s just another kind of living. My dreams vary – memory replayed, anxieties or expectations displayed, nonsensical or vivid – they come to me.
But once in a while, I dream true. By this I mean that I know the dreams are not merely memories being reviewed by my brain. Not fears or hopes. They are just real. I have received instructions in my dreams. I have seen a sliver of the future. I have traveled to odd countries. I have spoken with those who have passed away.
And last night, I have received an extremely rare gift. I was blessed with the gift of goodbye.
Most of it was about preparing for a journey. The last scene was the most important. It was my father’s wake and --- he was sitting on the floor beside me. He was watching everybody paying their respects. Every time somebody would say a prayer for him, he got a little more translucent. As if, for every prayer uttered, he gets closer to the kind of essence heaven is.
I can see him, and I was rubbing his hand, his legs, touching his hair. Every one was looking at me like I was crazy. They couldn’t see him and they thought I was just insane with grief.
It was a good thing that Gabe approached me and Daddy. He said, “That’s a strange dog… “ Then Daddy patted Gabe’s shoulder and the little boy exclaimed, “Oh, Tito Oca!”
That’s when people started believing.
Gabe called Daddy again and said he’ll sing “I’m a Little Teapot” for him. The first time he sang, Daddy showed no emotion. The second time, I sang with Gabe and showed him all the actions. This time Daddy smiled. He looked at me with what I can only describe as pride and he told me I am beautiful. I began to cry and I reached out to hold his face with both my hands. He became sad again. I understood why. He misses us so much. He is sad he left us. And I suppose, the same emotions were plastered all over my face. It was the saddest five seconds of my life.
Then I blurted out everything. I told him I only want more time to spend with him, so many things we were still supposed to do, so many sins I must atone for, and that above all things, I just want time to say goodbye.
Something started happening too. I can feel the ground reverberating. I dawned on me that I don’t have much time. Tears streaked down my face, and I said, “Bye bye, Daddy.”
He opened his mouth in a silent wail and I saw embers spark down his throat. I got scared that it meant he was still suffering somewhere dark. I held his head to my chest and started to pray.
I think it was praying. But it was more like chanting. I just kept saying Heaven. I was telling him he belongs to heaven. At the same time, I think I was claiming his place for him up there as well. In front of me, I saw fire burgeoning upward. But every time I utter “heaven,” a shower of feathers and clouds bursts out. I offered my salvation for him. I think I made a pact with heaven that whatever debt Daddy incurred, they can debit it on my account. Silly, yes. But I still have time to do good and to deserve heaven all over again. Daddy’s hourglass is spent however. I don’t know if that worked, or my praying worked. I was just saying heaven with all that I have. All the best part of my strength to believe was in that claiming.
I knew there was a battle for my father’s soul, and since I was given a chance to participate, I will fight with ALL I HAVE.
Finally, a bunch of men looking like Chinese lords from the 18th century appeared amidst a flurry of clouds. They were battling another set of men (looking the same, but they have black horses with them) and they wrestled my Dad away. Then they took him (or his soul) and carried him up to the moon.
When I looked down, I was embracing my mother instead. My mother who I knew was already safely in heaven.
What a trip.
I woke up still muttering, “Heaven, heaven, heaven….”
All this without drugs! I am a scary, scary person, eh?
A scary loony, but a relieved one at that. I felt light. The burden of goodbye was lifted from me by this one dream.
Every fiber of me knew it was a true dream. Daddy was asking for prayers. But he is en route to heaven. He called me beautiful, if only to assure me that yes, he will still “watch me grow in beauty” as that phrase from his favorite song to us says. (I Will Be Here by Gary V).
And I got to say goodbye. I said goodbye. Finally. After exactly six months, God gave me a way to move on. Upon waking up, it felt like a whole new life.
This is one of those days I am grateful for the extra-sensory gift that runs in my family. I was just entertaining the thought of seeking out a psychic just so I’ll know what’s the deal. God beat me to it. He gave me myself.
I actually functioned well at work today. Maybe, it truly is the start of my new lease on life.
My own life. Without regrets or baggage from the past. Nothing but the overwhelming amount of love I received from both my parents.
Call me crazy. It’s okay. I think I know how to laugh again anyway. It’s a trip. :)