As Father’s Day approaches I start thinking about my dad more and more. The other day something amazing happened. I had a dream, one simple dream, but it was enough to calm my heart and give me peace of mind. It was about my dad. It wasn’t bad or anything, it was actually a good dream. I was surprised when I woke up and I felt happy. I felt like everything would be ok. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a nightmare about him screaming or yelling at me for no reason.
Instead, in the dream my dad and I were sitting on the couch next to each other and my sister was sitting in our desk chair. He was opening a card and it was father’s day. I didn’t feel scared i felt safe sitting right next to him and happy. It felt good seeing him read the card my sister and I gave him. He then turned to me and said this softly, “Paula thank you so much! I love you both and I am so proud of you! I know one day you will both find a great guy to be with and you’ll be married!”
When my dad said that to me, I slowly rested my head on his shoulders, burst out crying tears rolling down my cheek, and said, “Love you too dad!”
Then, I woke up, it was morning and I stopped for a moment, just a second and realized that it was just a dream. It seemed so real. I wanted it to be so badly, but it wasn’t. However, that dream that one dream touched me so much that day. I had that dream last Wednesday and I was so glad I had that dream because despite everything that had happened, despite all of the hurt and pain surrounding our lives when my dad had HD, we were speaking to each other like none of that ever happened and he was finally telling me everything I had always wanted and needed him to say. Deep down inside I knew my dad loved me and that he was proud of me, but he just could never say those things. The Huntington’s Disease slowly turned him into a very impatient, rage-filled man, who can’t even talk much anymore, so when I heard those words in that dream it gave me hope, I was relieved and I started crying a little, too. I couldn’t help it. I was so speechless. For so long, that is all I ever really needed, to say how much I loved him and hear him say those things to me, gave me hope. I had that dream for a reason.
This kind of thing really makes me think about Father’s Day and what that means to a lot of people, what it means to me. Sometimes people take their father’s for granted, they see them every day, but my dad I hardly ever see him at all. Not having him in my life sucks. It always feels like there’s this part of me missing, the part where he used to be. But, when I have dreams like that that really speak to me and touch me, I know in my heart that my dad is in a nursing home and that he is getting the care he needs and knowing that makes me feel like he isn’t so far away in the first place, that all along he’s been right here beside me, loving me, making sure I was safe all along, right here in my heart. I love him so much and think of him often he is always in my prayers and i know someday we will be at peace, someday soon we will be able to say those things to each other. I know that anything is possible.
Funny thing is, I know that deep down, on a higher level, my dad really does love me that he really does care, cus every time do see him in the nursing home, I start reading him the card my sister and I usually get him and while I am reading it outloud, I suddenly burst into tears, because its so hard seeing him that way, but on the other hand its also because after all this time of not seeing him, its always so good to give him a good card expressing how I feel. Every time I visit the nursing home, no matter how I feel about HD, I always go there, and say even though he can’t speak to me much, “Dad, I love you with all of my heart! Its so good to see you! I miss you and I hope you have a great day!”
He doesn’t say anything back because he can’t speak, but when I look into his eyes, I know in my heart that he really does love me, that he feels the same way. That is what gives me strentgh that is what keeps me going, knowing that my dad loves me all along and that even though I don’t see him much he is always with me wherever I go.
Having that dream just made my day and it spurred me to want to see him tomorrow. I always have such a hard time seeing him at the nursing home. He’s slowly withering away, but he is also still going. Everytime I see him he always has a smile on his face even though he’s going throug one of the worst diseases ever, he smiles and for a moment it still feels like the real him is still in there and thats enough for me. Whenever I see that I know that he can make it and I know that things will be ok.
Sometimes with fathers’ day coming i wish that he never had HD in the first place, that he was normal and that he didn’t have to go thourhg this kind of pain and that my sister and I could’ve known what an exceptional man that he used to be, cus I never got that chance. He slowly became the disease itself. It took me years to find out that my dad used to be a Chapel. I had no idea. No one had ever told me, not even my mom. I had no idea what a chapel was either, but its someone who goes around to hospitals and prays for the sick. I think that was pretty amazing. So, I choose to remember my dad for that, for the amazing golf loving, chapel who never gave up the fight against HD. Yeah, it scared him, but he kept going and he retired so that my mom could work and took care of my sister and I. That took a lot of guts. I’m glad that he’s my dad, I am happy that he at least got to do something worthwhile with his life before HD took over his life. God works in very mysterious ways.
As I sit here, remembering my dad, I too think of all the other dads out there and hope they have a wonderful Father’s Day as well.
Its hard, really hard for me to visit my dad, but maybe just maybe tomorrow I can go see him and maybe my dream will come true! I just know it will. Maybe that’s what will happen when my dad and I get to heaven someday, where he wont be in any pain anymore and he’ll finally be at peace. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for him. I want him to be happy and loved and I don’t want him to be alone. God gave him a place to stay where he feels safe and secure at the nursing home, with good nurses who truly care about him and talk to him a lot, that makes me feel so grateful. So, I pray that you all don’t take your father for granted! You never know how long you have. So, spend time with him and tell him how much you love him! That’s what I’m gonna do. My sister and I are going present shopping today. We couldn’t do it last week, so we are going to do it today and we always give him some kind of cool gift maybe this time we’ll give him a stuffed animal or a t-shirt. Who knows the sky’s the limit right? We also again, give him a card. Sometimes its one of those silly huge cards that sing or that have Snoopy characters on them, he likes that.
My dad is also a fan of golf and he’s originally from Ohio, so we have family out there and I remember the good times when my sister mom and I used to go to the golf course. He loved swimming too so my sis and I would always go to the pool with him when we were younger. Good times! He also had a great sense of humor, we would watch reba, i love lucy reruns, home improvement. He also loves Snoopy, and so do my sister and I so we always get him something that has to do with So, my life wasn’t all bad there were good moments, sometimes all you have to do is focus on the good stuff that happened.
It’s easier sometimes just to notice the bad things that happened and forget the good, but there is always something good that comes out of the bad. Always! So, focusing on the good times is all it takes, if I sat around all day thinking of the bad times that wouldn’t work all that ever does it make me feel depressed, so from here on out if you are struggling with someone in your family who has HD, I understand how hard it can be to see them slowly die from it and there’s nothing you can do, but have hope! That’s what I do and it works! Things will work out, it may not seem like it will now, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, for all of you out there reading this, I hope you all have an awesome Father’s Day tomorrow and I hope that this helps some of you out there who are going through this, too.
So, my fathers day dream for all of you and my my family, is to see my dad more often and to stop being so afraid of the disease itself and to keep going, keep trying to advocate for this, to share my story with all of you so you know about this disease and so we can stop it from hurting so many people, like my dad. I am going to keep going to walks and keep donating to this cause as much as I can and if you’d like to donate money for this cause, please take the time to check out this website:
This website is called HDSA (or Huntington’s Disease Society of America) if you haven’t already heard of it. On this specific link above is to donate to Huntington’s Disease. So please, think about it and if you can donate some money to this cause today. So many people need our support!