A few days ago my daughter was driving her daughter (my pretty, precocious, learning-to-read 6-year-old granddaughter, that is) to ballet class, but the little girl suddenly shouted “STOP!” to her mom, pointing a finger up as if to the heavens.
My daughter put on the brakes, frantically asking, “What’s the matter?”
“Why?” her mother asked, logically. It was 4:55 p.m., and ballet began at 5.
“Because he lives right here!” S replied in an exasperated tone.
To the right of the road a tall red sign stated:
Ergo, S saw the sign to her grandfather’s house.
The rest of the trip to the ballet studio, my daughter tried to explain that Papa Gino’s was a house of pizza, not the house where PaPa lived.
S hadn’t misread the sign, she’d just misinterpreted it.
(But how neat is it, that S thinks the world created a huge sign directing us all to her PaPa’s house?)
Which made me wonder, how often do I misconstrue signs?
Many of you know that our elder golden, Henry, died almost a year ago.
My guy and I grieved for this special family member who always had a smile for us, a hug, and even a kiss on the nose if we seemed to need it.
Many friends encouraged us to get a new puppy, since we obviously love animals, but I couldn’t fathom going through puppy training again, much less trying to replace the irreplaceable.
Then the doorbell rang last week in the middle of the night. I was sound asleep. With my eyes closed and while still softly snoring, I saw Henry (looking quite spry and years younger) waiting patiently outside the front door.
“Why’d he ring the doorbell?” I wondered, slowly standing up, sliding on my slippers, waking up as I walked with eyes half closed through the bedroom, the living room, on past the long hallway.
I stopped at the front door.
Henry couldn’t have rung the doorbell.
Henry’s not alive.
(Never mind the fact that he certainly couldn’t reach the bell, ferheaven’sake.)
But did I turn around and go back to bed?
No, the dream was so real, the sign so strong that Henry was in fact waiting for me, that I opened the door.
No one was there.
Shaking my head at the absurdity of it all, I climbed back into bed, vowing to not tell anyone about my dreaming obsession.
Until the middle of last night.
Henry stood by my side of the bed, and I did what he always asked me to do, what I always wanted to do – I petted him from rear to ears. I felt his coarse thick fur between my fingers, and his muscles relaxed underneath my massage.
Then I woke up.
And watched my hand and arm moving up and down at the open side of my bed, fingers curling as if intertwined in a dog’s mane.
Or just the dreams of a middle-aged sleep-deprived imaginative dog-loving woman?
What do you think?
Perhaps I should ask my granddaughter.