My father passed away when my mother was 7 months pregnant with me. He was 21. I have lived my whole life knowing that he wanted a little girl more than anything in the world.
The day after he passed away, a phone call came in from a children's boutique in town. My aunt answered the call, they asked for my father by name, and she told them that he had passed away. The clerk informed her that she had a green infant dress, blanket, bonnet, and booties that he had placed on layaway and wanted to know if he still wanted to purchase it. He hadn't made a payment on it in several weeks because he had been ill. My aunt went straight there and paid it off. I wore it home from the hospital (this was 1978 and they had no idea that I would be a girl).
I am 32 now, and going through the hardest time in my life. My husband has been unable to work in over a year due to a progressively debilitating medical condition, and to say the least I am exhausted from working as a nurse, taking care of 4 children and him when I get home, and constantly worrying.
I'm not sure if what I am going to describe is a dream, or if it was maybe my father's only way of being able to communicate with me because I am very, very afraid of the supernatural.
Two months ago I had a dream that I woke up soaked in sweat and very thirsty (which is not uncommon for me). I walked into the kitchen, flipped on the light, and standing by the table was my father. He was dressed in and khaki colored shirt and pants. They looked like linen. His shoes were the same color and they were loafers. This was not what I had always imagined him wearing. His hair was still shoulder length, and he was still young.
I just stood there with my heart pounding and I'm sure my eyes wide. I started to scream but before I could he said "Wait! Don't be scared, don't be scared! I'm sorry to scare you... You always startle so easily."
I couldn't speak, so I just stood there. He then said "I've wanted to talk to you but you jump and startle every time I try." By this time I had begun to get my bearings, and I was beginning to understand what was going on. I did the one thing I had always wanted to do. I ran to him and threw my arms around him. He was as warm and soft as if he were alive. I cried into his shirt for several minutes.
When I pulled myself together, we sat down at the kitchen table. He took his shoes off and propped his feet in an empty chair. I looked down at his shoes, and I remember seeing the number 12 marked in the heel. I remember thinking that I needed to remember that because it was important.
We talked for a very, very long time. We talked about my mom, my children, and my life. He told me several things that still bring tears to my eyes. He told me that he was sorry he had to leave me the way he did, but that he had to because he could take better care of me from where he was than he could have from here. He told me that I am doing a wonderful job with my children, and that they are all four such special individual people. He said that he smiles whenever my mother tells my daughter, who is 13, that she reminds her of him in so many ways. He said that he watches them sleep, and made me laugh when he said that he loved my twins' names (Simon after Paul Simon, and Cash after Johnny Cash) and that Cash had beautiful hair that he loved to touch while he was sleeping. He said he was sorry that he kept knocking my pictures off of the walls, but that sometimes he just had to touch them. Those pictures have been falling off of the walls for years in every house I've lived in.
Then he got to the real reason he was there. He said that he wanted me to listen to him carefully, and to take to heart what he was going to say. He said that things were going to get a whole lot harder for me soon, and that it would be ok. He said he would be right there with me and that I could get my family through it. I asked him what he was talking about and he just said that I already knew.
I started crying again, and then I woke up...sweating, sobbing, and thirsty. I pulled it together enough the next morning to call my mother to ask her a very important question. I asked her what size shoe my dad wore. She was confused, but answered my question... He wore a 12.
I explained my dream to her through sobs, and she started sobbing with me. Later that evening we talked about it in more detail. When I told her what the shoes looked like, she said that those were the shoes he was buried in. She said she didn't know where the clothes came from, but that they had bought him new shoes to be buried in and those fit the description.
She asked how I knew it was just a dream, and the only explanation I have is that we had moved all the kitchen chairs on the back deck earlier that day because my toddler twins had learned to climb onto the kitchen table from the chairs. It was just easier to get rid of them unless we were using them. The chairs were all in place in my dream.
I have always been afraid of "ghosts". I get up almost every night to get a glass of water, and I usually turn on the light, think I see something, jump and gasp, get the water and run back to my bed as fast as I can. Since my dream, I don't even do that anymore. I don't leave my bedroom unless it's light outside.
I don't know why I am afraid to see him again because that conversation is what I've always longed for. One would think that I would want to do it over and over, but I just don't.