I spent this weekend at my sister-in-law’s house in West Virginia, my mother’s place of birth. Family was on my mind as I was with my wife’s family gathered to celebrate my nephew’s upcoming wedding. My birth family was in Chicago at a family reunion. Friday night, I had one of my weird dreams that I won’t publish, but it’s one of the dreams where I’m being embarrassed by creating a mess. My goal in the dream is to keep others from finding out about it. My family, who were gathered with me in West Virginia were just outside and I was trying to get things cleaned up before I was exposed. I have had variations of this dream since I was a child. The dream was semi-lucid in that during the dream, I realized it was just a dream and was able to relax a bit because I knew as soon as I woke up, none of them would know what they had seen in the dream. As I took my walk this morning, I was listening to a podcast about lucid dreaming and the significance of this dream came to me. A big fear of mine is being exposed as a failure.
Then, I had a dream about Granddaddy. My mother’s father lived with us for a short time before he passed away suddenly in 1968. I don’t recall ever dreaming about him before. Granddaddy’s death had a profound impact on me because I was 7 years old when he passed. He had gone back to West Virginia to visit. I was in Columbus. The story I heard is that he stood up in church to give his testimony and while he was testifying, he had a massive heart attack and died. From my 7-year-old perspective, he had simply disappeared. He left the house and never returned. This is when I began to question the safety of this universe and the compassion of God. How could he be here one minute and gone the next? Why didn’t God protect him? He was obviously a good man, he died in church. If you’re not safe in church, where are you safe? Granddaddy’s death played a huge role in how I perceived the world and still does, 50 years later. In my dream, I saw his face clearly. He spoke to me. I don’t recall what he said. I don’t remember him well, mostly from pictures. I did see him clearly though. He appeared to be the same age as he was when he passed. I got the impression that the anniversary of his death was coming up. I woke up wondering if maybe he had died on this day all those years ago. I couldn’t even remember the year he passed.
My father has an online family tree. I don’t know how to get to it. I thought of texting my brother and asking him to look up the date that Grandaddy died. But, he was in Chicago with his family. It could wait. I’ll wait to text him when he gets back home. How wild would it be if I had that dream on the anniversary of Granddaddy’s passing?
Well, it would be wild, but it was not to be. This is not the anniversary of Granddaddy’s passing. When I got back home I got onto Facebook and was scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw this picture posted by my cousin. We share this grandfather, but she never met him since he was gone long before she was born. Granddaddy didn’t die in July. I had the dream on July 27th. He passed on October 20. But, there is an anniversary coming up. It was October 20, 1968. This October it will be 50 years. 50 years since I last saw him. What I know now is his death wasn’t a death at all. God didn’t let him down that day in church, God took him Home. While he disappeared from my life, he did not disappear, he was given what he had been looking forward to. It was his time.
So, there was no magic of having this dream on the actual anniversary of his death. But, I do think it’s pretty amazing that I was thinking about his passing and before I could find out from my brother what the date of his passing was my question was answered by this post from my cousin.
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