A Dreamlike Goodbye

Last night my favorite uncle appeared in my sleep in a dream. It was a family gathering. He had taken turns with other trusted family members watching my kids.

Once when I was little he took his grandson and I for a walk down old train tracks near where I grew-up. They were rarely used so one could walk near them in our nest little suburb and feel instantly linked to the past. “Someday we’ll walk all the way down the tracks!” he told us. We were excited. In my dream last night I was recording the train tracks on my phone while he watched my kids, I think. Then it was time for him to home. Our families were parting from each other for just a short bit like we used to do… We all said our goodbyes. We gave our hugs goodbye. I literally got a hug goodbye from my uncle… It was nice to have a goodbye.

Last night while I was editing my novel I started crying thinking about my mother’s first cousin who recently died as well. Once my mother and I rode the train back to the community where she and my father grew-up. It was the early 1990’s. My mother’s first cousin brought his two children, Jon and Lucia, to say goodbye to us as we left… He saw through my mother for better and worse. Even at age 5 or so I could tell… He was a brilliant man. Truly, there’s no lack of intelligence in her family… But regardless, she was under scrutiny in a way I hadn’t seen before. She definitely felt held accountable. She always had said that she looked-up to him and his siblings… They were the family who grew-up in Seattle even while her cousin who died moved back to farm because he loved it. They were people who saw through things… And I cried, because they cared.

It’s nice to have a proper goodbye. Sometimes in war it doesn’t happen. Sometimes in the worst of times it doesn’t happen… Thank God for the dreams He gives us in peaceful slumber. A goodbye done correctly is important…