My dad was well into his 80’s when he began to slow down. He was independent and still lived in the house he built. He was alone. Mom died years ago and Dad was still kicking and doing fine.
I lived in Canada about 5 hours away by car. My brother and sister just three minutes away from him in opposite directions. My sister would cook dinner for him nightly, my brother made sure he had his meds every day. My sister-in-law did his laundry and when home, I’d clean the house and stayed with him.
He was as independent as possible to the last and we were all happy about that.
Dad was an optician whose career started in the 1930’s under the watchful eye of his uncle, named Morris. He lived with his Uncle Morris and Aunt Helen while his own mother was in a sanitarium for TB. He became his Uncle Morris’s apprentice. He loved making glasses and the two worked together until his uncle died in the late 1940's. Dad worked for others and eventually owned his own business and retired in the 1970’s.
In August 2001 my Dad attended the funeral of his last brother, Morris. (Yes, he had a younger brother named after his Uncle Morris)
Within days of his brother’s funeral, Dad was in the hospital for observation and tests because he was not well. I drove like a maniac to get home hoping I would be in time to say goodbye. The tests showed his heart was about gone and his hours were limited. We said goodbye and he left us in the night.
I stayed at Dad’s house while we planned the funeral. I was having weird dreams, as one would expect to have when you are upset. I awoke (or dreamed I awoke) in my Dad's empty house but I was standing in my Dad's kitchen....
I was standing in the kitchen leaning on the sink and I could hear dad’s footsteps coming from his bedroom.
He came around the corner looking taller, more rested than I’d seen him in years and dressed as he would every day. I didn’t speak; I shrugged and raised my eyebrows as if saying, “what’s up”? He responded saying “I didn’t know it was Morris” and then poof he was gone.
When I shared this “dream” or “vision” with my brother he told me he worried about Dad at his brother Morris’s funeral. My father was 88, hard of hearing and frail. Dad attended the funeral and seemed to enjoy the family get-together that celebrated Morris’s life. My brother was worried because he thought Dad was acting strange and confused. My brother said dad keep asking where his brother Morris was?
((Um…he’s dead, dad…))
My brother suggested Dad thought it was his Uncle Morris’s funeral, not his brother’s. I have to agree.
So, in that one moment in time, in those few seconds of that sunny August morning, while standing in his kitchen in my sleep, my dad showed up and told me he’d already seen his brother.
The feeling of peace he left with me told me he was in a good place and not alone.