When their passing was fresh, I had thoughts and even hopes that in my dreams they talked to me. That I was communicating with them somehow. I would grade each one on realism and naturally place the more enjoyable dreams in some category that made them real. Now that some of the sting has left and my acceptance of their departure is more mature, I realize they live in my dreams the same way they live in my life. As memories.
These memories are wholly positive and uplifting to me. Please don't misunderstand. But they are memories. When I find myself in a situation that I'd like my dad to be in with me, like a funny show or something, I imagine what he'd say. In these instances, his dialogue is of my imagining.
But I don't have to wonder if he would be proud of me, or if he'd be pleased with me. My dad was a good dad. A loving father. And he always loved me. I believe he still does. But even so, I want to make him more proud. I wish he could hear me play. And I really wish I could hear his thoughts about working on the boat. It would be so much more real to me with this man who I loved to talk to about these things.
Besides the impressions in my mind, I still live with his impression on my soul. I was given a great gift by my parents. That of my perpetually positive attitude. My dad was not a hater. He stayed up. I could count on that. Even in my folly I see him and am thankful. Even in my obnoxious manner I see my mom and am thankful. I couldn't say they live still in me. I carry some of their gift to the world. My friends enjoy this gift. I enjoy it too, in friendship. There are so many other things they gave to me. It would be an insult to catalogue them. I want you to know that I am happy with who I am and thank you guys for it. I miss you every day. Still. But I am doing better. And I'm trying now.