“I’m coming with you,” my dad said to me in my dream.
“You don’t have to do that. You know I’m a good driver.”
“It’s not your driving I’m worried about. It’s all the other nut jobs on the road, which is why I want to make sure you and your mother get there safely.” I was taking my mother, who was living with me now, to visit my brother, her son, in Las Vegas.
But what my father said, had me wondering. “How are you planning to keep us safe?” I asked him. My father had been dead for the last three years.
“I’ll think of something,” he replied. I believed him; this wasn’t the first time he visited me in one of my dreams. “Now, wake up!” he ordered. “Your mother needs your help going to the bathroom.” How did he know?
After waking up, and going into her room, I asked, “Do you have to go to the bathroom?” She nodded. My mom, who was eighty-five, had recently fallen, and was still on the mend.
While I helped her shuffle her way toward the bathroom, I explained to her, “I had another one of my dreams about dad. He said he was coming with us on the drive to Sonny’s place. He wants to make sure nothing happens to us.”
Mom smiled, and clutched my arm a little tighter. “He’s always been protective that way.”
The next day, after a short while, we stopped for breakfast at a restaurant I knew about. I had an aunt who once waitressed there. Next door was a gas station and a 7-Eleven.
After breakfast, we were just coming out of the restaurant, when the both of us were startled by a very loud explosive bang! Looking toward the gas station, we saw a young man with long hair facing the building with a gun in his hand. While we watched in horror, he discharged the gun a second time, followed simultaneously by the sound of shattering glass.
Talk about a deer in the headlights type of reaction? That’s was me. But then, what happened next, had me forgetting for the moment about whatever paralyzing fear I had been experiencing. The youth, who had been backing away from the 7-Eleven, tripped over a trash container, which had suddenly toppled into his path. It caused him to fall backwards and hit his head really hard on the pavement. He must have been knocked out, because he didn’t move after that. Instead, he remained laying with his back bent over the trash container and his arms out stretched. The gun, which he had been using, lay on the ground next to him.
Meanwhile, my mom, who was still trembling from the experience, held her hand to her chest and kept exclaiming, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!”
While I was trying to calm her down, a whole crowd of people came pouring out of the restaurant. They stood around staring at the kid who remained bent over the trash container.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t figure out how that trash container had fallen—it was made of cement! There was only one explanation. Glancing casually up at the sky, I mumbled thank you to my father.
“What did you say?” mom asked
“Just thanking the Lord that we’re alright.”
“You can thank him for me, too!”
Less than a minute later, a cop’s car with two officers inside showed up. Don’t ask me how they got there so fast. Since we were the only two people who actually saw what had happened, they asked us all kinds of questions. Then after taking our statements, they let us go.
Four and a half hours, and two trips to the bathroom later, we were in Las Vegas.
Bill, my brother (we called him Sonny), was a dealer in one of the smaller casinos. He was also a graphic designer on the side, which was how he was able to afford to live in a two bedroom, two bath condo, and have a girl come in twice a week to clean.
Staying with Sonny was definitely therapeutic for my mother. I hadn’t seen her that happy in months. The morning we left, Sonny warned us to be extra careful. “The weatherman said the Barstow area had received snow and sleet last night.” He was right. Not only were there large patches of snow on the roadway, but patches of ice as well.
This was where dad intervened again. As we approached the area, I could sense a sudden change in the way my ten year old Corolla was moving. I know this is going to sound crazy, but it suddenly felt like I was driving a car with treads instead of tires.
Once we passed the Barstow area, the roads became less treacherous, but not the traffic. Even though I was going a good ten to fifteen miles over the speed limit, cars were passing me like I was standing still.
“Where are the cops when you need them?” my mother remarked. I could hear the nervousness in her voice.
“Probably busy eating their doughnuts,” I replied half-jokingly, which was when some butt hole almost hit me while trying to pass me. The only reason he didn’t was because my car, all by itself, swerved onto the shoulder, then back onto the highway.
“Whew, that was close!” mom exclaimed, holding her chest and breathing heavily.
“It sure was,” I said out loud to her, while in my mind, I silently thanked my dad for once again intervening.
The rest of the drive home was stress free.
Once we got into the house, we put away our stuff, then sat at the kitchen table, and had tea along with some of the souvenir cookies Sonny had bought for us back in Vegas.
While I sipped my tea, I said to mom, “You know that accident we almost had?” She nodded. “I think that was dad stopping it from happening.”
Instead of being skeptical, or asking questions, mom reached across the table, and cupping my hand in hers, replied, “That’s because he wants you to always be safe.”