Monday, October 15, 2007

Stella Cathleen

Last night I had a dream about my Dad. I dreamed that my mother was telling me over the phone that something bad had happened to him and something else about what my oldest cousin Cathy was doing. I was in a house with clear glass tea cups and pink carpet. There were a few people I didn't know in the house with me: an old woman with a camping hat on and a tall, naked grad student girl. In my dream, my Mom told me that Cathy and Hannah, her daughter, (not the people in the house I was in!) had bought The Lake House (the house I grew up in, that my Dad and his Dad built when my Dad was a teenager, the house my Mom and Dad still live in) from Nanny and Papa, my Dad's parents. I was overwhelmed with sadness. I couldn't control my crying; I was moaning with grief. I was trying not to cry in front of the naked grad student girl and the lady with the camping hat, but I couldn't stop. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to ever go home.

The Lake House:

(Look Mac, the elevator is still off the porch!)

A few days ago, my Dad was transferred to Emory hospital in the psychiatric unit. The specialists there quickly realized that he had been having a gnarly reaction to the head drugs he had been prescribed initially. This was good news, because it meant that firstly, they knew what was wrong, and secondly, given time, he would recover.

This whole shenanigans has been going on for about six weeks now. I've been doing just fine with all of this. I'm doing my homework and I'm paying my rent and I'm not upset. To be honest, it doesn't quite seem real to me.

But life is mysterious and things are at work that we don't understand. For example, this.

I don't believe in God, but I do believe in the Buddhist principle that everything is interconnected. Literally, everything is made out of the same stuff. I am a collection of matter. I'm a wave in a body of water. Oh, don't roll your eyes; it's not a good time to be judgmental.

Things ARE at work that we don't understand. Remember my dream? Well, last night my Dad had an emergency and was put back into the ICU; not to be all melodramatic, but he could have died. Let's cut the shit: he stopped breathing; it's fucked up. And my cousin Cathy, who hasn't been to The Lake House in maybe a decade and lives two hours away, stopped by the house because her husband was buying some tires from some guy nearby. I see Cathy maybe once a year; I'm not even sure if her name is spelled with a "C" or a "K."

More than thirty years ago, my Dad woke up one night and smelled smoke. My Mom and he searched their apartment and, finding nothing, went back to bed. That night his sister's house burned down. She, her husband, and her two young children were unharmed. Cathy was one of those children. This story doesn't make sense, but I have to tell it.

This is a picture Stella Cathleen holding my brother:

Cathy went to see my Dad at the hospital. She's a nurse. She told my Mom that she feels my Dad is going to come out of this okay. How could I not believe?


Mac said...

Best post ever. And where did you get that photo of "Kathy" holding Jack?

Also, remember how awesome it used to be when NO ONE lived around the Lake House. Look how small the trees were!

I too sometimes feel that none of this is real with dad. I had a dream the other night that he woke up and wouldn't talk, he just kept eating huge bowls of cornbread and milk and telling us that he had never been so hungry in all his life.

I hope Dad comes out of this. I do believe in God, and I also believe in the interconnectedness of all things. Your story gave me hope...more than I've had from praying in a long while.

That's not to say that I'm not still praying, only that I think I'm "walking by faith" right now instead of feeling wrapped up in the warm embrace of the Spirit.

Susanna Williams said...



And that is Cathy holding you.

Do you spell her name with a C or a K?

Dad IS probably starving.

love you,