Just a quick post here because I have to tell you about this! Last night I went to the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble to work. Some friends of mine were meeting me for coffee later on, but while I waited I was trying to focus on getting some things done.
Okay, wait… a little backstory first. The night before had been crappy. I woke up from a bad dream in which my brothers and I were headed out to some sort of event, but as I glanced back I noticed Dad sitting in a wheelchair unconscious. I motioned to my younger brother who was halfway out the door and told him “We can’t leave him here. He’ll die”. I woke up crying. I couldn’t sleep for hours after and the sadness hung around me all day.
Fast forward to sitting in the cafe listening to music and taking deep breaths trying to hold it together. I knew once my friends got there I’d be fine, but until then… ugh!
And in walks my Dad – a little heavier than I’m used to seeing him and with a whiter beard, but wow. He was wearing the same Air Force ball cap he always wore, his jeans and tennis shoes. He even had that “hitch in his get along” like he always called it – a slight limp caused by back pain. He took off his dark blue coat – not the bomber jacket style he usually wore, but of the same material and same color.
Then he walks past me toward the back of the store and I’m thankful that whoever this fellow really is, he hasn’t noticed that some weird girl is staring at him with her mouth hanging open. When he comes back I notice he has the same mannerisms too. It is freaking. me. out. I frantically text my brothers to tell them our Dad is in Barnes and Noble!
I should add at this point that I have never in my life seen anyone else who looks like my Dad (or my Mom for that matter, and she died 20 years ago).
Then I notice the smell: cigarette smoke. What the what?! I am sitting in the back corner of the cafe. I’m not by any doors. There isn’t anyone walking past me who has been smoking. So weird. I inconspicuously try to take a video, but it just doesn’t really capture anything from the distance and angle I’m at.
My friends arrive and I tell them the whole story. My friend Annie reminds me of a video we just watched in which the real lady behind the TV show Medium (Allison DuBois) says our loved ones send us signs. This is a sign, she says.
I suddenly remember a conversation I had with Dad in the hospital not long before he died. I said that he would probably live another 20 years or more, but when he did go, to please try to come back and let us know he was around. Then I realized that might not be good enough, so I clarified: Let us SEE you.
Well played, Dad. Well played.
Coffee Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash