In my dream I didn't get to visit with him very long. Two of my sister's took up most of his time; they had much more urgent matters to run past him and they swooped him away, but I waited alone patiently. When it seemed to be my turn with him he couldn't stay much longer. In the last few moments of my dream I could see him so clearly. Although the dream was in color, he stood beside a painting of a tulip rendered in shades of gray. He said "I made this for you" and was then gone. I woke up sad and exhausted. Melancholy followed the rest of the day into the week.
For weeks now I have thought about what that dream might mean. My mood lifting as each week passes as I think about him. My dad lived a very ordinary life. One filled with family, love, success and loss. Disappointments and loss were sometimes met with dark sarcasm and inappropriate humor for the moment at hand, but I loved that about him. He would not let anyone on the outside see what it felt like to be him on the inside.
The thing I loved most about him is that he would always have a story to tell about any situation. Sometimes the stories would seem totally off the wall until you thought about them. Sometimes his stories would make you think for days, if not weeks at a time. Sometimes the stories would shock you into laughter. His stories always spoke to a lesson or a moral. At times he spoke in idioms as well as allegorically. For the longest time in my life I believed that most of what everybody said may have dual or hidden meaning. But through life experience and a little bit of common sense I figured out that most people just say what they mean.
Dream interpretation is not something I know anything about but I have been consumed with trying to figure out why my father left me with a colorless painting in my dream. I have looked up the meaning of flowers, the color gray and what the combination of the two may tell me. It was yesterday that it came to me what it all "might" mean and at the risk of sounding trite in my interpretation I will share.
I have always felt my parents built a very strong foundation of ethics and morals on which I have always been able to rely. It has never failed me to be the person they raised me to be, never a quitter and always, always finish what I start. To be kind because you never know what others are going through, to favor the underdog and to realize that not everyone will like me; just because.
Even with all of the trials my family has gone through, the ins, the outs, the ups, the downs, the microcosm of life tragedies that have touched our family, my father (and my mother) painted me an under painting on which I could add my own unique layers and colors. One with which I could "bloom". He just came to remind me of that and that is all.
He was an abstract thinker...he liked to shock people with his off the wall humor....he was too nice...he was avant-garde...he was a normal guy...he was an honest man...he was such an intelligent man and I miss him. And so, as this 56 year old orphan sits and laments over all she has lost, so does this 56 year old woman pull up her big girl panties and says "I got this".