Monday, January 28, 2008

dad dream

I just had a dream this morning about my dad. He had mild Alzheimer's and we were traveling together. At one point we somehow started going through this exhibit of pirate stuff, and it was jumping out at us, and he was frightened. At the end, this guy was trying to sell us stuff based on the exhibit. My father was looking at everything and showing it to me and I knew if I showed the slightest interest in anything, he'd buy it. I knew he wanted to buy something and I even thought of feigning interesting in something cheap just to get us out of there. I found this really cute little stone elephant family. The biggest elephant was on a keychain and the smallest ones were loose. I thought of Aunt Bert, who collected elephants, and that she would have liked this set.
I got my dad out of there without buying anything and we got back into the car. We had to stop for gas and strangely enough there was a circus there also getting gas, and a woman in a pick-up truck. The woman had lost all the boxes in the back of her truck and another woman was trying to help her load the boxes. A pair of white trucks arrived as soon as the circus left and started cleaning up all the poop the animals had left behind. I got out of the car and told my dad I was going to walk around. I helped the lady with her boxes for a few minutes and then I went to talk to the circus cleaner-upper guys. When I turned around my worse fear was realized: my dad was driving away without me. My phone, purse, everything was in the car with him. Whether he had forgotten I was with him or forgotten to check I was in the car or thought I was in the backseat sleeping, I don't know. I ran for the pay phone but had no money and no calling card. I knew my father wouldn't know how to answer the cell phone but I was hoping calling it repeatedly would get his attention and he'd look for me to answer it and realize I was gone and start retracing his steps and find me. I remember swearing, saying something like "Damn Alzheimer's" as I went into the convenience store part of the gas station for help. One of the circus cleaner guys was with me. But before I could even call, my dad came back on his own. I went running out with the circus guy and my dad said "Your music was on in the car for an hour and I couldn't shut it off." (He was only gone 5-10 minutes at the most.) I told him I would take care of it. The circus guy, who was Spanish and rather cute, gave me his number and said the circus would be around for a while. I made some kind of quip about elephants that I can't remember, and I guess got back in the car with dad, although I don't remember anymore of that part.
Then I was at my mother's and my mom got some kind of mail for my dad. In this part of the dream, he was dead. And something for me, about some tests I'd taken to be in a study group for families of Alzheimer's patients, and it seemed to say that I was rejected because I already had symptoms (I'm not even 40!), and the worse thing was that I had no memory of taking the tests or trying to join the study.
12 19 Muan 9 Chuen

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