When I was in 8th grade, my Grandpa died. We had just moved from PA to Ohio, and even though we had moved a few times before, this move had been the hardest. I remember thinking that if we hadn’t moved this time, Grandpa might still be alive. We didn’t get to say good-bye to him because he had a quick heart attack, and because it was the first person that I was close with to pass away, I had a hard time dealing with it.
He came to me in a dream twice over the course of the next year. Each time, he didn’t say a word. The first time he signaled for me to come closer to him, he hugged me, and then walked away. The second time, my parents, my brother and I were sitting in a living room, and he walked around from one person to the next, hugging all of us before he left the room. After these dreams, I felt that I had closure.
In 1999, my other grandfather, my Djedo, passed away. I was able to say good-bye to him without it being a good-bye. It was months before he died, maybe even a year…but it was the last time I saw him, and I sensed that it would be the last time. I remember being angry with him because he wouldn’t be coming to Christmas that year. We found out much later that the reason he was going to Florida was to die. We hadn’t known that he had cancer. Because I was so angry, I almost didn’t give him his Christmas present, but I knew in my gut that I would never see him again, and I didn’t want him to leave me angry. I kissed him good-night before I went to bed and cried while listening to him talk to my mom in the next room until sleep overtook me. The next day I told my mom that we wouldn’t see him again, and she said, “I know. I felt the same thing.”
At his funeral, my Uncle Pat asked me when I was going to get married. At that time he was in the end stages of pancreatic cancer, and we all knew it was a matter of time before we would be at his funeral…he knew it too. He also knew that I was in a long-term relationship and it was the second time he had asked me in the course of a couple days when I was getting married. I told him I didn’t know, and at the time, I didn’t know if I would marry the guy I was with. But one year later, after my uncle and my djedo had died within a week of each other, I did marry him. I remember not knowing whether Uncle Pat asked me when I was going to get married because he thought my ex was a good choice, or because he thought he wasn’t right for me. I know the answer now.
The day of my wedding I was sitting alone in the limo waiting to go into the church, and I looked up to the sky and said to my two grandfathers and my uncle, “Guys? if I’m not supposed to marry this man, please give me a sign.” Nothing happened, but I failed to notice that asking the question was the sign. Hindsight, she is a bitch.
I still talk to all of them on a regular basis. I drove around with their pictures on the visor of my car for years until the sun started to fade them and I couldn’t bear losing their images, so I took them down. But I still have conversations with them when I drive, when I get ready in the morning, before I go to sleep, when I pray…
Last night I got an answer to a question I didn’t ask. Uncle Pat came to me in a dream and he saw the engagement ring on my finger. He smiled, grabbed me by the hand, pulled me into a hug and whispered, “Congratulations” into my ear. I woke up with tears on my face.