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A Mid-Summer’s Afternoon

Dreams have a weird way of blending truths.

This afternoon, my sister and I were riding around town in our ancient Plymouth Voayager from ’94, the special 10th anniversary edition. It’s a lush dark green. My sister was in the back seat as I drove to some thrift stores looking for various items.

At one stop, we were pretty freaked out by this older man who was trying to open the door of our van and when he was unsuccessful with the door lock, he reached into the partially open window to try to start the car and unlock the door from the inside.

It made us extremely uncomfortable, but eventually I found the words to stop him, inform him that he was confused— we later saw that he has the same van, so he thought this was his car. We were all embarrassed.

At another stop, we met up with my dad. He is an older gentleman, somewhat heavyset, and hobbles with a cane’s assistance ever since his stroke a few years ago. He then drove us for the rest of the afternoon.

He loves to drive us in that old van. He says he enjoys the scenery as well as our company, which for some reason is always more intimate in the cozy comfort of the old van. No one else can hear what you say to each other while driving, so my sister and I always share our thoughts, emotions, and whatever random topics might seem relevant at the moment. Driving together is our bonding time.

At one stop, we saw that they had free watermelon slices on a table, and while dad was waiting for us in the car, my sister and I contemplated carefully which was the juiciest, largest, and reddest slice. It was a very warm afternoon, threatening to turn unbearably hot, but not just yet. How our dad loves watermelon! We thought it would be a nice little surprise for him.

When we got back to the van, he promptly began to cruise down the road, fast enough to keep a nice, steady breeze floating through the old, un-air conditioned vehicle.

In the relaxed, warm summer afternoon, we told him about the man that scared us earlier. We told Dad that we would rather he come back from the dead like this and visit us anytime– it was much less creepy and a lot of fun!

See? That’s what I mean– a number of truths are blended together here, such as:

We always enjoyed our personal drives together in the van, in which the A/C didn’t even work, my dad loves watermelon, he walked with a cane several years ago due to his stroke, my sister and I enjoy finding treats for my dad…and that he died less than 2 months ago.

The cruel lie here is that he came to visit.

As much as I enjoyed my afternoon with my dad in dreamland, it was only a dream. The dead cannot borrow their corpses to visit the living. A sweet and at the same time cruel vision; I dearly miss those days when my sister and I could cruise through the city with our dad. As I awoke this afternoon from such a pleasant dream, the pain, sorrow, and tears started to well up in me again as I realized that he was not truly here with me, and that I will not see him again for a long time, not until the day I see God.

I wish dreams like this never have to end.