Saturday, January 05, 2008

C.T. Johnson

My grandfather visited in a dream last night. It was in the middle of a strange, if remarkably vivid, dream about me trying to move into a room where the subflooring kept sagging and the contractors were too careless or inept to fix it properly. At some point a small group of my relatives showed up, and in their midst was my grandfather. For an instant I just welcomed them all, as his being there with my other family was as natural as could be.

But then I remembered that granddad had passed away months ago, that he should not be there. And then I focused on him, and hugged him close, and spoke with him. In the way of dreams, I cannot now recall any words we exchanged. I only remember how wonderful it was to be with granddad again, to feel his presence and see his face and hear his voice, all the while knowing, somehow, that this was to be a brief visit.

And indeed, after only what seemed a very few moments, he stepped back in a move to leave. A Hollywood-esque angelic glow backlit him, and he turned and walked out the door. We waved goodbye to one another, and I saw him through a window and then he turned the corner of the house, and I knew that if I followed I would not find him.

My dream went on past that moment, back into the "plot" of a room with a rotted floor. There was even another point where I was with my family, and I glimpsed my grandfather again in their midst, simply being there as he had always been. This time I knew without being told that any special attention on him would break the moment, so I just let the scene unfold. Again the dream moved on, and eventually I woke.

Whether the spirit of my grandfather truly visited my dream last night, or if it was merely a subconscious phantom created by my mind as a part of grieving his loss, I suppose I will not know for certain. But whichever it was, it was a comfort to realize that, in a way, whenever I see my family, I see him again. He has passed on his love of music, his dry wit, his generous spirit, and his faith in God to his children and his grandchildren. Each one of us now carry on a part of that legacy, and you cannot see us without glimpsing him too.

My grandfather, C.T. Johnson, and my grandmother Ruda V. in 1988.

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