The necklace

I had a resolution dream this morning. I had awakened, fallen asleep again, and plunged right back into REM. The dream was vivid but not lucid. My mom and my dad were in it. Neither had aged noticeably since I was 13 – the time when he died. I was grown up in this mixed up and brief vision. I’ll give you some background that will illuminate the details of the dream.

During the Spring of 1985, a month before he died, I went with my school on a trip to historical American sites in Virginia and Washington DC. My mom had sent me away with an absurdly generous amount of spending money and I decided to use the biggest chunk of it on a pendant for my dad who was dying in the hospital. I believed he’d wear it one day, when the doctors determined he didn’t need the tracheotomy anymore. The pendant was a tiny, antique gun. Dad had built a non-firing gun from a kit, a replica of an old revolver, and so I thought he’d like a little one to wear. Buying the little solid-gold gun gave me hope – false hope – but it felt right to my young mind. I remember taking it to his bedside. He was weak, connected to all sorts of machines, thin and delicate, but despite the ridiculousness of the gift, he loved it. The other students who were also on the school trip thought I was insane for spending $150 dollars on something for my dad, but what then didn’t know was that it could’ve cost nothing or millions and I still would’ve known it was perfect just the same. Sometimes you’re just drawn to something for reasons you can’t explain and when someone you love is dying and you can make him smile for even a few seconds, it’s worth the earth.

My memories are hazy from that time of my life. I was 13 and going through so much. I’m pretty sure there was never a chance for him to wear the necklace. I’m certain it went home with me for safe-keeping – for when I foolishly thought he’d come home. He didn’t, of course. I wore the necklace myself for awhile, but my skin doesn’t like yellow gold, and so I often had a greenish-black smudge below my neck.

All of that is true within the limitations of my spotty memory of the time period. But in the dream this morning, which was like looking through milky glass, I was in the same room with my reunited parents, and though he was weak and couldn’t stay, the tubes and machines were nowhere to be seen and he was standing there, alive and so real. In this dream I saw everything through my own eyes and watched my arms reach up and clip a necklace around him. I’d been holding onto to it for so many years. As I lowered my hands from fastening the clasp I saw him smile. Then the dream sucked away from me and I awoke in tears. Sad, sure, but above all, contented. I had a homecoming this morning – completion – and better than anything, I saw mom and dad together again and will always remember how that necklace made him smile.

Technorati Tags:

4 thoughts on “The necklace”

Comments are closed.