Dreams of Daddy, dream #2, dated April 3, 2017

For fifteen months, my days and nights were consumed with physical tasks. Go to the hospital, take my hormones, feed the hunger, try to rest, make sure the baby is growing well inside of me, and then, make sure the baby – little Max Luca “Sihai” (whose Chinese name means “remembrance of the ocean,” after his grandfather “Haiyan”) – is growing well outside of me, in the big wide world.

My dream life was mostly dormant in those fifteen months.

Then, April came along. April has always been a special month. All three of us – mom, dad, and I – have our birthdays in April. I think of him even more in April.

Last night, I finally dreamed of Daddy again, two weeks before what would have been his sixtieth birthday.

I dreamed that the three of us were on the run because Daddy had accidentally committed a crime. How bizarre. He was such an upright citizen, far too dignified and cautious to even run a red light.

So, we were running from the police, but I had no fear. In my dream, there was no fear. There was only longing. Longing and wishing.

As we ran, and walked when we tired of running, I wasn’t afraid. I only wished to walk on forever with the two of them, with my mother and my father. I longed so hard to not get caught in the night, because if we got caught, we would have to stop walking together. If we got caught, someone would take us away, break us us apart, make us stop walking on together.

Night always turns into day.

Eventually, in my dream, we turned ourselves in at the police station.

There, I dropped down. I knelt at an officer’s feet, crying, desperate to tell him that there had been no crime, that I had done nothing wrong. That I only wanted to keep on walking with both my parents, with my mother and my father. That I only wanted the three of us to keep walking on together, forever and ever.

I woke up.


10 years, 10 dreams about Daddy

This is the first in a series of 10 posts I plan to write as we near the ten year anniversary of my father’s passing on August 15, 2007


“A full moon on August 15th … families reunite under the full moon.”


So the saying goes in Chinese about the 15th of August. In the lunar calendar, this day is the Mid-Autumn Festival, traditionally a time for families to get together. Since 2007, the date “August 15″hasn’t had its usual festive ring for me. That is because on August 15, 2007 (in the “normal” solar calendar), my nuclear family of three broke apart forever. That morning, I watched my father gasp through his last breath as his body gave way to the cancer that had found its way to his brain.

Now it’s 2017. Ten years have passed. In that time, I’ve grown, laughed, cried, succeeded at some things, failed at others, and learned a whole lot. Tonight, I just put to bed an eight-month-old baby boy who takes his name from a grandfather he hasn’t met. The circle of life continues.

Ten years feels like a nice round number, a good time to take a pause, reflect, and perhaps grieve in a way I haven’t allowed myself to before.

I feel my way through the world in prose. So, as we near the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing, I hope to share ten “Dreams About Daddy,” as well as resurrect an old blog I wrote in the early years after his departure.


Here goes, “Dreams About Daddy”, dream #1, dated November 13, 2010:

Last night, I cried in my dream. I cried when I realized I was dreaming.

It was a dream that made sense. No flying people or crazy car chases, the telltale signs that my subconscious was driving. It all seemed so normal, plausible, real:

I was in an office – my new office – going over work with team mates who were just getting to know me. As we huddled around one computer screen, he walked up, sharply dressed as always, gliding in his long confident strides. He stopped to see what we were working on. We suddenly felt so important receiving his attention.  I, especially, was happy that he would hear the witty remark I was about to make.

I said my funny thing. The others laughed. And he backed me up, added to my joke, delighting us with his signature humor.

I looked at him, so pleased that we could share this laugh together. I looked at him, glowing in my happiness, so pleased that we could stand in this sunlit room together, chat together.

Then, I saw that it was a dream. I saw that it couldn’t be. It wasn’t real.

Panicked, I seized his hands, holding one tightly in both my hands, and rushed the words out before they drowned in the oncoming tide of tears,

“Daddy, I miss you so much.”