I had a dream last night.
Wasn't too bad a dream. Unless you consider a glimpse at the pathetic being that I called Uncle for 40 years. It was also a short dream.
It took place at a holiday gathering. I want to say it was Christmas - only because that's the first thing that comes to mind. My mother (Oompa) was there. My Dad, my step-parentals. My kids. The wasband's crew was not there, though. My sisters and their spouses (yes, even the one who might not be her spouse much longer) and my nephew and two nieces.
And also in attendance was the Most Reverend McNasty and his 'partner.' It might've been a holiday that warranted dressing nicely, but he looked as he did at my nephew's and niece's party where I saw him last. Like a bum. His hair has gotten longer; he'd always had a crew cut. He's put on weight. He's unshaven, looks dirty and disheveled. I'm SURE that had I been within six feet of him, I'd also discover that he smelled badly, too - a combination of rotten farts and sweat. His 'partner' has to hold his hands and 'lead' him around. He cannot walk on his own or without help. He's looking and smelling like the shit he always has looked like.
Anyway, this image of him somehow presented itself last night in my sleep. Or it was possibly closer to morning. Either way, I remember waking up to it being daylight. I just laid in bed and processed for a little while before getting up. USUALLY, I have trouble remembering the cryptic messages hidden within dreams as the day goes on. Laying down for a good twenty minutes, just thinking, was the only way to ensure that 18 hours later, I'd be able to write about it.
But - in the dream - dinner was being served. A grand spread, it was - as it usually is on the holidays. There was pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, salad - wine, container of ice, napkins all folded, fancy-like. We never did the napkin-folding, so that was one strange thing about it. And the food, you know, if Oompa prepared it, was never that great-looking, either. Everyone was gathering around and getting comfortable in their chairs, passing trays of food around to those sitting next to us. Of course, I chose to sit at the far end of the table, farthest away as I could from my uncle.
We must have inhaled our food because only moments later (funny how dreams 'skip,' isn't it?) McNasty's partner pulled me aside as we were getting ready to clear the table - and said, "It might be a good time to make peace with your uncle."
"I don't want to talk about it. And besides, this isn't the time or place," I replied.
I woke up before he could respond. Immediately, I was relieved to discover this was all a dream and the Most Reverend McNasty was NOT in the same room as I. There was just me, my pillow, my blankets and a couple of oblivious cats.
I sometimes dream about people when they're about to die. Or will soon be dead. I'm thinking this is either the case - or Oompa truly got to me last weekend, with all her talk about how ugly and/or disrespectful I was being. I dreamt about my Nana days before she passed. My grandmother, I dreamt of the night BEFORE she died. Sadly, I've not gotten any text from Oompa today in regards to my uncle's failing, circling-the-drain condition - but perhaps this text will come soon. One can hope, anyway.
I am of the belief that dreams contain messages and little explanations within - if you can make sense of them.
By now, we're all familiar with what Oompa said to me this weekend - that I'd disappointed her by refusing to say 'hello' to him at the last family gathering - and that this was likely the last time I'd see him alive. I do think that the 'holiday' setting within the dream was representative of my not being 'ready' to interact with him - regardless of whether it may possibly be the last time. "Not a good time or place," was what I'd said - and in the dream, I was at a holiday celebration - that right there is NEVER a good place or time to bring up such ugliness. "Not the time or place" is something my mother always said, too, usually when she was dismissing a topic she didn't want to get into - dismissal usually accompanied by 'put it in your sleeve, worry about this later.'
I also think it means I've been 'masking' my hatred for this man for far too long. I mean, look at this dream - in it, I'm surrounded by my entire family and no one has any clue of the REAL reasons behind my hating my uncle. They're ALL of the impression that I'm being unreasonable in choosing to not associate with him. I'm STILL lying to all of them and telling them the same story I've been telling them for years - he treated Grandma badly, he cheated my mother out if her inheritance...ANYTHING but the truth. Everyone was enjoying themselves and all I could think about was how uncomfortable I was, even being in the same room as him.
When I last saw him, he looked weak, pathetic. He's unable to 'do' for himself anymore. So his partner did for him, just as he 'assisted him' with walking and getting around at the party. In the dream, it was his partner who asked me to make peace with him - in reality, it was Oompa - makes me wonder if he's actually revealed to my mother that it was one of his dying wishes for the niece who hated him to forgive him.
Sorry, nope. That's NOT a wish I can grant, nor do I think there will EVER be a time or place where I can forgive him. For fuck's sake, I'm still trying to figure out the answers! I also know that I'm not going to have any regrets for not saying a final hello or goodbye to him while I still can. As far as I'm concerned, he's already dead.
So, that was the dream. It was filled with hidden clues - I'm sure there are more that I missed, but for now, I'm needing to purge it from my brain and to forget it for a little while. Seems this is what I do to ensure that when I AM ready to give it more thought, it will be here for me to reflect upon.
I also struggle with the thought of him dying, sometimes. Not with the idea of him FINALLY being gone - because really, that would be great and would instantly make the world a much better place. But...where's his next stop??? Naturally, we'd think it was Hell, right? But, see - he's a 'man of the cloth,' a Roman Catholic priest. I sure hope this doesn't give him a free pass or qualify him for a seat in the 'waiting room' to Heaven - the place the Catholics refer to as Purgatory. The Catholic Church (that I was raised following the teachings of) holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo this process (which the Church calls 'Purgatory') "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven." (That last little snippet was from Wikipedia.) In Purgatory, there is an amount of repentance and suffering, after which his soul will ascend into Heaven.
It's been a long, LONG time since I gave too much thought to the existence of these three places we could likely go upon our deaths - to Heaven, to Hell or to Purgatory first and then to Heaven. Ah, I don't even know if there's PROOF. No one's ever come back and given a review. And please understand that I am not speaking ill of the Catholic religion - I just never bought into it and having possibly been subjected to CSA by a priest has made religion a VERY hard pill to swallow. I therefore consider myself to be an agnostic - it's just safer that way.
I DO know that this is a man who is the farthest from holy as can be. And here he is - about to be judged (if that's true, too) and he'll not pay for any of the horrible things he's done while he was living - will he EVER be held accountable, even if in the afterlife? Or will his 'years of service' afford him a ticket to paradise, even if his misdeeds and injustices land him in Purgatory first?
I shudder to think.
Guess that's all for tonight - I'm getting a serious case of eye-burn and need to shut them for a few hours.
Am hopeful that this morning's (OMG - 3:50am????) dreams are filled with daisies and rainbows and unicorns. I could use a dose of cute to offset the ugly!
Hoping also that everyone is doing well this week. I'll be back soon.