Lately, what's been on my mind is death. It's strange the way death affects a person. You can be going on with life after the death of someone you know and everything is fine. It can be months, even years after, and just when you think you're getting over it, it hits you at the strangest moments. Like when you're getting lunch. Like when you're walking to your car. I don't think the grieving process ever really ends.
My oldest daughter used to count plates when we would set the table after her grandpa's death. One, two, three, four. There used to be five plates, now there's only four. Grandpa's gone. It's times like those that are hard. Times like those when everybody thinks you're fine, even you think you're fine, but really, you're not.
I guess the reason why death has been on my mind is because my husband decided to turn all our home videos into DVDs. So we spent a weekend watching and burning old home movies, which was actually kind of fun, because we haven't seen those old movies in such a long time.
So I guess memory has a way of slowly dissipating. So slowly that you don't even notice until you watch those home movies, and suddenly, it's like a torrent of memories just teeming to get out. Most of the movies were of us back in our former town where we used to live, when my father-in-law was still healthy. I watch him interact with my daughter in those movies. The two of them dancing to Hmong music, taking walks, feeding ducks, playing in our backyard. He was such a good person.
A couple weeks ago, I was really sleepless. The house was dark and quiet, and I just kept lying in bed, thinking but not really thinking. I must have fallen asleep, but all I remember is that my eyes were still open and I was looking towards the foot of my bed. And then all of a sudden, a figure appeared at my door and I immediately recognized it as my father-in-law. He looked normal, like how he was before he got really sick, but somehow I knew he still had cancer. He walked from the door straight to my husband's side of the bed. He knelt down and hugged him. And he stayed that way for a very long time. At first, I was scared—it seemed so real. I thought, is this really happening? And then my mind told me, no, it's a dream. Open your eyes. And I did. And I saw that my room was exactly the way it looked in the dream. It spooked me out at first, but now I think I'm comforted. I'm taking it as a sign that he's still watching over us, like how he did when he was alive.
Cheers to my father-in-law (dearly missed)...
(reposted from my old myspace blog)