Today was the first time I can remember that I awoke, startled by sadness. It had crept it sneakily, as most things do in a dream (i.e. your alarm going off). My dad had made a cameo in the dream just before, but I had almost laughed in that one.
I was walking down a familiar road. It was sunny and I think the leaves were just starting to change color to signify the coming of Fall. I arrive at a crossroads and gaze one hundred feet ahead of me to see that it’s my house. My Oak Brook house. I remember being kind of surprised that I had ended up here. What was I doing here? I felt a twang of pain in my chest. I thought I had already said my goodbyes to this house. I didn’t really ever want to see it again. But my eyes linger as they see the right garage door is open. “Hmm, that’s weird,” I thought, “I wonder who it could be.”
All of a sudden, I’m standing in a foot of snow and everything around me is covered in a sea of white as far as the eye could see. For some reason I knew to look behind me, but still jumped when I see it is my dad’s caretaker in her car. She flashes me her toothy grin and gives me an enthusiastic wave. I am ecstatic to see her because I have missed her, but mostly because her presence eased the eeriness I was feeling just moments before. I give her an enthusiastic wave back and motion towards the house. I tread through the snow towards the driveway; focused on getting a shovel to help clear the driveway for my dad’s caretaker.
I reach the driveway and it is now Spring. I don’t miss a step and head straight for the mailbox. I glance up before I open it to see that my dad’s caretaker is out on the driveway setting some tables up. Open. Reach. Grab. Retrieve. Close. I look down at my hands. A small, flat, cardboard box with the silhouette of a bouquet of flowers. It’s from a bank of my dad’s and printed in some loopy cursive are some words synonymous with “sorry for your loss.” I almost giggle at the sight of a bouquet of flowers in a box like that until it hits me what was printed on the box. That eeriness is creeping up on me again. I try to brush it off as I look at the mail underneath the flowers. A letter from a bank and I didn’t even bother to find out what it was about. I walk back up the driveway to my dad’s caretaker to show her the mail and these boxed flowers.
A guy comes up to us and asks us how much we are selling things for. I realize that the tables my dad’s caretaker was setting up before is for a yard sale. We’re selling things, my dad’s things. My dad’s caretaker and I are startled by the man. As we both slowly slip out of the reverie we had both seemed to enter upon seeing the boxed flowers, the man repeats his question. “How much are we selling things for? Some of this stuff has great value, it’s worth a lot!” I look at the man and wonder how he knows the value of these things. I glance down at the table to look at what we’re selling, but the table is nearly empty. I remember frowning and wondering what he was looking at except part of me must’ve known it was a dream so I didn’t question it. I glance up at my dad’s caretaker, letting her answer his man’s question, and find her eyes brimming with tears. Her hands are shaky as they preoccupy themselves with rearranging my dad’s items supposedly of “great value”, the ones I cannot see. I put a hand to her back to try and comfort her. It breaks my heart every time I see her cry as my dad became like a brother to her in the year and a half she took care of him. It broke my heart again, in this dream.
She says to the man in a shaky, but stern voice, “I’m sorry sir. These things are not for sale. We are just not ready to part with them.”
And then I woke up.