The week before my grandpa passed away, I had a dream about him.
In the dream, I was lined up to see him. Everyone ahead of me had their chance to say goodbye and give him a hug. He was still sickly and weak, though. When it was my turn, he was starting to wake up and someone went to give him medicine to put him to sleep. I fought with them and demanded that they give me a moment to say goodbye.
I walked up to him and he looked at me and stood up. In the blink of an eye, he wasn’t that sickly, pale, old man that couldn’t talk to me or even open his eyes when I last saw him through video chat. He was my Grandpa again, full of love and life and joy.
He pulled me into a big bear hug and whispered in my ear that he wanted me to listen to traditional Christmas music every Wednesday.
Mind you, I did think this was odd. This is the same man that taught me the songs “Grandma got ran over by a reindeer” and “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat”. Those are definitely not traditional Christmas songs. I told him I would, though.
Then he hugged me one more time, then told me he loved me and that he had to go.
And he did.
I woke up a mess, sobbing and crying. My husband just pulled me close and hugged me. This wasn’t much different than the state I had been in the past few weeks anyway.
I video chatted him a few days later. The conversation was very one-sided but I was much more put together than I was the last time I saw him. The last time, my words could barely be interpreted because I was sobbing so hard. This time, I was still crying but I could control my breath.
I told him about the dream.
He tried to say something. He couldn’t even open his eyes, but his eyebrows were stretched high and high mouth was forced open like he was trying to stretch his face enough to force them open. The whole room was quiet even though there were at least eight other people in there.
He kept trying and a groan escaped his open mouth as someone whispered that he hadn’t reacted like that to anyone else. I was always super close with Grandpa. He tried and tried to say something until my grandma asked, “Did you tell her that, hon? Did you tell her to listen to Christmas music every Wednesday?”
He groaned out a very distinct, “Uh huh.”
So I decided I would, even if it was just Grandpa being a jokester to the very end.
The first Wednesday after his passing, my husband and I put in one of the 5 DVDs we had rented a few days before. It was apparently the only one that had a Christmas song in it.
Crazy coincidence, I thought.
The second Wednesday, I was sitting in the lunch room during break time and my friend was on her phone. Suddenly she laughed and showed me her phone saying, “My friend just sent me this funny video of my Dad dancing during our last Christmas party.”
That caught my attention. Two Wednesdays in a row, both showing something Christmas themed without my enticing it.
The next Wednesday, I was in the extra morning care that I do for work and a little girl walked in… with Christmas scrunchies in her hair.
People, it’s June. This is way out of season.
I believe my Grandpa is sending me subtle reminders that he is here and looking over me. Now, being the jokester that he always was, he has shown himself in other ways, too, like trying to scare the crap out of Yohei and I was slamming a curtain shut in our home. Nothing like that has ever happened before and no, it wasn’t because of a breeze. It was a room partition curtain and the windows were shut.
I hope he is here. The selfish part of me wants him to stay forever. The mature part of me wants him to move on and be happy, but knowing how and who he was, I know he wouldn’t move on without making sure we are all okay. And I’ll be honest, right now, a lot of us aren’t.