Awakening to the Wrong Song

“We aren’t like you.”

“What do you mean?”

“We won’t last.”

“But you’re real?”

“We’re real enough. You’ll know more about THAT as your life proceeds, but we aren’t the sort that can hang around, you know, for the long term. Your mother will, but, you know.”

I nod.

“You are. You’ll be around awhile on your own. I’m sorry about that. Your brother, well…”

“I don’t understand anything you’ve said.”

“I wish you could. Things — some things, some important things, would go easier for you — but maybe that’s why you’re going to hang around a long while without us. I have no doubt you’ll figure that out, and do something with it. I wish I could stay to find out what! You’ll be all right, though. You’ll do fine.”

“Dad?” I think, a little confused. Ghost visitations before I’ve finished my coffee are beyond the pale. I take a long drink from my still-hot coffee, and shake my head. “What am I thinking this for?” My ear catches a few bars of a Beatle’s song. “Ah, THAT. Sometimes Mohammed’s radio is a little sinister.”

Me at Columban Fathers Mission — my forest — in Bellevue, Nebraska

As the specter of my dad retires, Teddy checks to see if the coffee cup is descending to the floor any time soon. Thinking about my family in this way — which is exceedingly rare — always returns me to feelings of gratitude to my childhood forest and all it gave me.


13 thoughts on “Awakening to the Wrong Song

  1. Truly one of the mysteries of our brains: the wiring that connects certain sounds, words or smells to deeply-buried memories of people or events. Nicely written.

  2. My mother claims visitations and conversations with her mother and my father… I’ve never had such a vivid experience but I have upon waking caught a glimpse of my father seemingly fading away… At least this is truth telling – you will be fine!

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