In My Father’s House

Last night I had a dream.

I was at an event, a gathering full of noise and laughter, but I left it behind to enter a side room through a set of French doors. Here was a sun room, narrow and comfortable, furnished with brown chairs and pleasant decor that reflected the light. There were a few plants and a rug. Everything had a muted aura, a wash of coloring that was not quite sepia, but more of a golden hazy glow reminding me of a movie effect to put viewers in mind of memories or what-ifs.

My dad was there, and in his right mind. I was bringing him a plate of food. I handed it to him and he asked me to sit a while, so I did.

It was him, but without baggage, and we talked with the ease of old friends. After what seemed a long time, he let out a deep sigh that came from the very soles of his feet. He set his unfinished plate on the wooden side table.

“I know this is your party,” he nodded toward the door that led to the large room, “But would you do something for me?”

“What is it?” I asked.

“My birthday is not for months,” he said. “I want to celebrate early.” His hands rested on his knees. Hands I knew, but didn’t know. He squinted up at me through his glasses. “Will you come?”

I grinned with a child’s delight. “Of course I will.”

He opened his arms to me and I went to him. Our arms wrapped around each other and nothing else took up the spaces between us. I could feel his frame, but not the sharpness of his bones. Then I let him go.

It was a beautiful dream.

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