I rarely have nightmares. I don’t actually remember the last one I had, but last night I had the most intensely sad one. I was bawling uncontrollably in my dream and woke up doing the same. It was a dream about my father. When I retold the story to my mate, it didn’t make much sense to her, but the feelings were so real and I could barely fall back asleep.

I was sitting in the kitchen of my parents’ house with mom and brother. Apparently I was moving back home, but was trying to figure out what area of town I should live in. I think mom was under the impression that I was moving back near her, but when I told her otherwise she fired back, “You’re not single. Only single people live there.”

Brother lived there. We both looked at one another and my blood immediately started to boil. This was so typical of mom. We were apparently supposed to leave, or at least that’s what it felt like. I decided I was going to go back upstairs. I told her I needed a minute. Instead of going back to the room I stay in when I visit, I went into my parents’ room.

There’s an antique chest of drawers that they’ve had ever since I can remember. There were two small drawers on both sides of the antique. They both had keyholes in them, though I’m not sure they’ve ever locked. You could stick part of your finger in the whole to pull it open. In the left hand side were little knickknacks that dad had been collecting over the years. I remember a McGovern pin. In the right, which is usually where he kept the bullets to guns were little figurines. The drawer only opened so far, but if you bent down, you could see that the drawer’s space actually continued further. When I bent down to look toward the back I noticed a Papa Smurf figurine. This was something I put into his hand just before he died. I saw it and instantly started crying. The intensity of the crying seemed to escalate quickly and I had my arms crossed on the drawer with my head in my arms when I woke up. I think brother was in the room with me.

I think I used to collect smurf figures when I was small, but I never gave any of them to dad when he was dying. The nightmare was so real though. Nothing seemed imaginary. It’s one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had. I still can’t stop thinking about him today. I’ve been on the verge of tears all day.