I had a dream about my Italian grandfather, Grandpa, which felt random, or out of the blue, because nothing had happened that made me think of him. It wasn’t his birthday or anything, that’s in February, the same day, in fact, that he died (I don’t know, dying on your birthday? There’s something poetic about that. I think that is special), a day that Nana or Aunt Krissy will call to remind me, it’s Grandpa’s anniversary, how Italians remember such things. He’s been gone for twelve years now. It’s not that I don’t think of him, but I woke unable to recall the specifics of the dream, just knowing it was about him, with a feeling of wow, Grandpa, wondering what had brought him to front of this crazy ol’ mind crammed with gnarls of thoughts…
Then you brought me his hat, Baby Boy.
Grandpa owned a Mobil Station and I have a baseball cap from his old station.
You came running into the hallway wearing it, and I blinked.
“Where did he get that?” I asked your dad as you two tackled him and pushed him back onto a pile of teddy bears on the floor.
“That hat. I haven’t seen it in years. Where did he get that?”
“I don’t know, I must have had it,” speaking over giggles while wrestling on the bears. I stood above the three of you with my hands on my hip like a school marm in judgement. Hand me my bonnet and yard stick and stern look of disapproval, please.
“Well it’s my grandpa’s.”
I turned to look out the window and saw that lining the fence in the backyard was an army of green defiantly sprouting from the blanket of snow.
“Are you sure?”
I turned to the hat and looked at the gray netting. The flat back rim. I remembered taking it from my house when I moved into the City ten years ago, how I moved myself in pieces on the Long Island rail road, the various sized and shaped bags jutting into my ankles as I lugged them up and down the steps, quite defiant myself (the best was the day I moved in my fish, carrying him in his fishbowl)…”Yes, it’s from his station.”
I told him I’d just had a dream about my grandpa the night before, and how that was really weird.
He agreed, that’s weird, how anything you think about can be deemed “weird,” from shrimp to plants to people naming their children two first names–Phil Phillips. Jim James.
So here I am wondering on this dreary rainy Tuesday, is this a sign? If it is a sign, what is he trying to tell me, hang in there? Call your Grandma! Is he saying hello, or offering support? Or, is this all a meaningless coincidence? Is this the mind seeing what it wants to see? Believing what it wants to believe? The heart taking over. Take that, science and reason. Boo, you guys suck. (Just kidding.)
I don’t know. Add it to the list of things I can’t explain–as a person and a parent. Like eating peel-and-eat shrimp, and bulbs that magically know when to sprout from the ground each year, and singers with two names…
I think I’ll go call my grandma.