As I twittered a couple of days ago, the dream about my dad that was the most beautiful dream I've ever had about him. To sum up the dream as best as I can, without going into too much detail, I dreamt that dad had visited me and told me that he had gone up to heaven, from purgatory, "3 weeks ago" because of how much we all prayed for his soul. He was wearing this white suit and I think I even said something along the lines of "Oh snap, daddy" (which I used to say in real life when he was looking sharp or did something impressive). Then he told me a couple of other things, about how a couple of things were "already written", and that I shouldn't worry about anything. I told him that he had died too soon and that I still needed him (which is how I feel in real life), and he just nodded like he knew. I once again saw a burgundy book that I had seen in a previous dream about him. This book supposedly has a list of things my father will have to help me out with from heaven, sort of a "to-do" list to keep me safe. I didn't ask him anything about it, though. I asked him to please remove the anger my mom still felt toward him in real life and he said something that I understand from real life about why my mother was angry. He wasn't sad or angry though. Throughout the dream, he was very calm, relaxed, and happy. Then I said something along the lines of "So... do you know where I'm going to end up for university?" and he said "Uh-uh, I'm not telling you where you're going!" Then he told me the words that have stayed with me in my waking life...
He said that I would see him more often than my mother would, because I was more attuned to him... and that he would be with me wherever I went. I suddenly saw myself in a white dress with a bouquet of white calla lilies, walking down the aisle of my childhood parish and my father, dressed in a white suit, walking me down the aisle... only he wasn't really there. Then I heard him say "I'm going to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day, even though I physically won't be there." Then I saw myself in the delivery room, having my firstborn (a baby boy) and he said "I'm going to be there every step of the way. Whenever you need me, for every thing that you'll go through. I will always be with you." I woke up shortly after that.
This dream had been on my mind since I had it and it's made me want to go see dad more than usual. I've been wanting to visit dad for a while now but we couldn't for one reason or another. Finally, today we went and we received the biggest surprise that we would've never expected in a million years. As we got to where he was buried, I noticed two things: There were 3 graves instead of 2 and two of those graves had markers/plaques/stones (whatever you want to call them). As we got closer, mom bent down and started cleaning the grave marker that had dirt covering (obviously just placed before the buried someone besides it). She didn't know why but she just started cleaning it. As it got clearer I yelled "Mom, that's daddy's name!" I started getting choked up as she continued to clean it and we saw that, sure enough, it WAS my father's name with his birth year and this year. We both started bawling our eyes out as mom got the marker as clean as she could. I clutched my St. Jude medallion (which I wear on a chain) and my father's cap (which I was wearing) and I thanked God for what we were seeing.
I should mention that we didn't expect my father's grave to have a stone/marker on it because we still owed them about $5,000+ for it. (Burial at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery isn't cheap -- we're talking about $11,000+ for a basic one.) We thought it would take us a couple of years to pay it off (little by little) so of course we were shocked to find the marker there. The fact that the marker was there means that someone anonymously paid the $5,000 that were still due. We know it isn't anyone in the family because everyone we called was as shocked as we were... and, really, no one could afford it. Whoever it was, may God bless you for your generosity. There couldn't be a better gift than having my father's marker placed on his grave. In fact, I was planning on using the money from one of the cars we're trying to sell to pay for the marker. Now, well, I can use it to help mom pay rent and everything else.
As if that wasn't surprising enough, we also had a curious little experience with a white dove and two monarch butterflies. See, I was wearing one of my father's caps (which I have been wearing since he died) to shield the sun from my face. I don't like getting burnt, especially since I get freckles easily, so I like to wear it. Well, as I was going to ask mom what time it was (to leave on time to catch the next bus), two little monarch butterflies landed on the tip of the cap, right next to my right eye, and I asked mom to take them off because I didn't know what they were. When I took of the cap, I noticed a white dove flew down next to the wall that was nearby. Mom immediately said "That's the Holy Spirit... or your dad." She started talking to it and she said "If you're Martin (my father's name), come see your daughter." The dove walking towards us and stood by us for the rest of the time we were there. Mom said "See, it's your dad sending us a sign that he's here with us." I lost it and a new wave of tears overflowed from my eyes. She said that doves usually try to fly away, but this one didn't. In fact, when I knelt down to clean dad's marker a bit more, the dove got much closer. When we left, the dove walked to where we stood, right in front of the flowers we placed by daddy's grave, and just looked at the flowers before disappearing. I took two pictures, one of when it got near us, and the other of when we were about to leave and it got so close, I felt it was going to climb on me. Here they are:
|From Daddy's Grave|
|From Daddy's Grave|
Go ahead and click on them to make them bigger. I can't post the picture of my father's grave marker here because a) I prefer to keep my last name anonymous and b) we're not allowed to take pictures at the cemetery anyway (hence why the dove pictures were taken by my camera phone) so, sorry. But still, man, oh man, I can't even begin to describe how I feel.
All of this has just made our faith even greater than it already was. My mom actually forgave my father for everything he did to her (I won't get into that) the second we saw the grave marker and the white dove. It was almost like the request I had asked my father in my dream (the one I wrote about earlier in the blog), about helping mom forgive him, had come true. I think this is just what mom needed to help her with her faith which had begun to slowly fade once again. God is great and what we experienced today is just further proof of His grace!
Alright, well, I think that's about it for now. I have a lot to do tonight and it's getting later and later in the day. Ack! I hope everyone had a great weekend... OH WAIT! It's Monday... which means I need to post music. Hmm... how about one of my favorite versions of "Amazing Grace"? It's by this great musician named Jadon Lavik.
Okay, now I'm getting off and enjoying the rest of this amazing day. :) Thank you for reading and, as always, God Bless. :D