We finally picked up Dad's Chair from my mother's home last Sunday. She had given it to me a few months ago; with one thing and another, we hadn't got around to taking it home.
It is a big, green leather Chair. It is a rocker and a recliner, large enough for two. I was worried, at first, that I wouldn't find room for it in our small home. I needn't have been concerned; it looks as if it has always been here.
Dad's Chair was always the biggest in the house, as I was growing up, and it had the best spot, too. Right in front of the window that faced the willow tree with the street behind it.
It was the perfect place for after school cookies and milk and a good book. The Chair changed over the years...Dad would get himself a new one every so often. But they were all big. And the Chair always felt as if it was wrapping me in a comforting cocoon.
This one is no different from all the others. It is a relatively new Chair, one I don't recognize as belonging to my Dad. His chairs always had a high back, something this one is missing. And in his last few years of life, my parents moved. His Chair no longer seemed to be in the best spot, in the new house...it didn't have the same feeling.
Perhaps it is because I am an adult now and have almost forgotten those comforting childhood moments, wrapped in Dad's big Chair.
But yesterday afternoon, I sat down in Dad's Chair, which, I reminded myself, is now mine. And I immediately drifted off into a floating meditation. As I sat there, I could feel my Dad's pres-ence. The smell of the leather Chair helped...I could distinctly smell Dad, along with, oddly enough, the smell of raspberries.
I don't remember whether or not Dad liked raspberries when he was alive; I know he liked the whipped cream that came with it.
When I see my father now, in dreams or meditations, he is always much younger and far more joyful than when he was alive. Dad's last years were not happy...he was plagued with arthritic feet, with all the attendant problems. And he was my mother's primary caretaker; it left him little time for himself.
So he mostly sat in his chair, reading the adventure novels that kept him entertained. He immersed himself in these books. They took him away from the reality of his home life. I sometimes wonder if he placed himself in the hero's position, living a life of adventure and activity.
Yesterday, in my meditation, he stood and watched me, at the edge of a lake. I asked him for his help with my mother, who is not doing so well now at the age of 85. He picked up a sea shell in the form of a circle and gave it to me, telling me this shell...this tool...would aid me in caring for Mom.
And then, as he stood there at the water's edge, he faded away in a shower of green light. The colour was amazing...as the water and Dad left my sight, the green turned to pink and then violet light. I drifted amongst those colours for awhile, loving the strong energy that surrounded me.
I slowly drifted fully awake, wondering what Dad had meant by the shell he had given me. It was an open shell, pure white in colour. But it wasn't until this morning that I looked it up.
I found that shells in dreams indicate a desire to be protected from life's problems. My mom for years has withdrawn from the world due to health problems and an inability to easily get around. Shells suggest vulnerability...a hard outer shell protecting a soft inner core. Dad was giving me some knowledge to use in persuading my mother to find help.
There are many more symbols in this dream...the water, the colours, the shells...even the tree Dad stands beside. I will take my time working it out, as it is important...there are many hints in this dream that might show me how to help my mother.
I expect to see Dad a lot more, as I drift away in The Chair. It is close to his birthday, always a time when I can communicate with loved ones who have died.
Dad's Chair was always comforting when he was alive. Why would I expect anything different now?