About three days after my grandfather died I had a dream.
I had been invited to this huge gathering and once I arrived I found myself wandering around an enormous banquet facility unable to recognize anyone. I knew I’d been invited, I just felt utterly out of my element in such a huge place, and although there were scads of people around, I was alone.
Finally my frustration won out, and I left the building by a back entrance.
But rather than finding parking lots filled with cars, I wandered out into a nearby field, and up into the bordering woods. I hiked for a while, looking back periodically to the building I’d vacated, wondering how I’d got myself into such an odd predicament.
Suddenly another hiker — a young man in his mid-twenties — climbed up to my vantage point and approached me as if we were friends.
“Why aren’t you at my dinner party, hon?” he asked, with a soft accent and manner that I immediately found familiar, although I couldn’t connect the face. He seemed to be talking to me as if he were an older man and I was his his granddaughter.
“Oh, wow, I didn’t recognize you,” I stuttered with some amazement. “You’re young.”
It was my grandfather.
He laughed quietly and put his arm around me. “Well of course I am,” he agreed, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
And so he sat and talked softly with me there in the woods, missing his own banquet.
And that was the last time I ever saw my grandfather. But I am so grateful to him for seeking me out and spending time with me.
I have the sense that I could talk to him if I wanted to, but things seemed settled and comfortable between us now, like a familiar and well-loved quilt.
My paternal grandmother and grandfather in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s.