A couple nights ago, I had a vivid dream. The only part I remember is the end, when my father was showing me his latest creation. He had always had a knack for crafting amazing things from odd scraps of whatever was around. In this dream, he was showing off what looked like two large tree trunks that were placed just so in his backyard. But when you looked closer, the tops opened up to reveal compartments for trash cans and recycling bins. Ingenious!
Last night, I dreamt about him again. He was handsome and young — probably younger than I am now. He was with my beautiful mother, and we all were having a great time. Near the end of the dream, I was half awake and knew that he was no longer with us. I hugged him and said, “I know this isn’t real. I wish you were still here. I miss you very much.” Both my parents smiled. And then I woke up.
I’m not sure why I’m dreaming about him so frequently these days. The last time I had dreamt about my father was a few years back, and I’ve written about it before. In that dream, we had been laughing and talking for hours.
As it grew dark outside, my father said, “I have to go.”
I laughed and said that it was still early — he could stay a little longer.
He said, “I’m tired. It’s time for me to go.”
I told him that I would carry him so that he wouldn’t be tired, and I carried him piggyback style — just as he used to when I was a child. We laughed together and then he gently repeated that it was time for him to go.
By this point in the dream, I knew what he meant and began to cry. But he calmly said, “I am not scared. I am not sad. And I don’t want you to be sad, either. It’s time for me to go.”
My father didn’t have an easy life. But I do believe that he was at peace when he passed away. He knew that my husband and I were having a difficult time starting a family and was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to have children.
I wish he could’ve met my son, who is the same age now as I was when we immigrated to the United States. The very easy life that I have today is due to the sacrifices of my parents.
Rest in peace, 아버지. Rest in peace.
© 2013 JAE-HA KIM