Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ice milk?

Elijah has been reminding me of my dad lately. He has recently decided that he likes "ice milk." That is white milk with ice. Our waitress tonight was sickened by the idea. Chocolate milk has no ice, neither does his sweet tea. I'm not sure why he's suddenly so picky with beverages. My dad liked ice in his milk, usually alongside a hot dog. Disgusting, I know, and I really think the ice milk idea is pretty gross in and of itself. But I love that there are things about Eli that are like Dad. It's also in the way that when he's lost something he first asks me where it is before he even looks for it. I hope I will always find bits and pieces of my dad in my children.

I'm reminded of a dream I had some months ago. Everything was the same except that Jonathan and I were getting married again (I'm not sure why). I knew in the dream that my dad was gone. We were rehearsing for the ceremony, although a large crowd was already there watching. We were in an old cathedral. During the rehearsal, the door to the cathedral opened loudly and sunlight streamed in. Before I could look back to see who was there the minister said something like, "Oh, good. I knew you'd come." It was my dad and he was wearing what he always wore (short-sleeved, botton-up plaid shirt with khakis) looking like his old, healthy self. He hugged me as I sobbed uncontrollably. He took me to a small, private room to console me. When I looked up he was gone and I was at a nurses station in a hospital. The nurse asked me what was wrong and I told her that my dad was gone and that I couldn't see him. She said, "What do you mean? He's all around you."

I believe that dream was either from my dad or from God. I need reminders that Dad is still all around me. He's in my children. He's in my nephews. He's in my brother. He's in me. It's funny how the things that used to bother me now bring me comfort - like the ice milk, and the way I have several projects going at once, none of which are finished, and how my fingers and toes look like his. I'm always saying things he used to (like "not only no, but probably not"). And I find myself singing some old gospel songs he used to sing (like "daddy sang bass, momma sang tenor"). Do I now like old gospel? Absolutely not. But I like that it reminds me of my dad.

Daddy sang bass,
Mama sang tenor.
Me and little brother would join right in there.
Cause singing seems to help a troubled soul.
One of these days and it won't be long,
I'll rejoin them in a song.
I'm gonna join the family circle at the Throne.
Oh, no the circle won't be broken.
By and by, Lord, by and by.

I can still hear Dad singing this. I never paid attention to the words of this song until recently. I take this as another sign that Dad is still near. After all these years, teasing him for loving this song, now it is comforting me. Singing does help a troubled soul. And one day I will rejoin Dad in a song. By and by, Lord, by and by.


Gina said...

This is written so beautifully and such a wonderful concept.

Jesus' disciples must have been just as broken-hearted when he left them - and to realize that His spirit lived inside of them and was all around them - I bet their understanding of that was just as beautiful as yours is here.

I love this post, and the way you make both your love and pain so beautiful, open and honest is healing to my heart.

Love you!