It was a warm summer night, but my father was still wearing his blue winter coat and his toque.
We were walking near a baseball diamond in a park, but it was empty. The diamond was lit though, the only source of light in the darkness, illuminating our surroundings.
My father was walking with a friend, but the friend was keeping his distance from me, much like his drivers would keep a distance from my sister and I back when he was coke running in the 1980s. I couldn’t really see who this person was, but I definitely didn’t recognize this person.
Are we in heaven?
“How are you doing Paw?”
“I’m good, I’m good Teddy.”
“Are…are they punishing you?”
I didn’t even realize how nervous I was about my father going to hell until this moment.
He had a lot of sins.
“Na, not yet. I’m sure they’ll get around to it at some point.”
My father said this causally, like he always played off everything. Confidently, without worry.
“I miss you Paw.”
“I’m doing okay Teddy.”
He really seemed like he was enjoying himself. He was skinny, but I couldn’t see the tumor in his throat anymore and he definitely didn’t seem to be in any pain.
My father reached out and grabbed my hand,
and this was the moment I realized that I was dreaming.
‘Omg I’m dreaming…my father has come to visit me in my dreams…’
And just as my brain wrapping around all the questions I wanted to ask him that I never asked,
he started to fade…turning into a grey cloud.
I squeezed his hand even harder, but the harder I squeezed the faster he faded away…
Until I was just left holding his hand.
“I love you Paw.”