Through the course of our marriage, my husband and I have talked about the theory of the Five Love Languages. For the uninitiated, the five languages are physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time and receiving gifts. (You can go here and take a quiz to see what your love language might be.) In marriage, it can be helpful to know the ways you "hear" love as well as how your spouse "speaks" it.
My top love language is words of affirmation. This became clear to me again this year when I realized how much I miss talking to my father and hearing him say he believes in me or hearing his excitement when I tell him about the things I am doing. He would have loved hearing about my new job. And especially when it has come to all the things that I've needed to do for his care and his estate this year, I miss the chance to have him tell me I am doing all right with the things he left for me to do.
Hopefully by the time this posts, the sale of his house will be completed. It has been a source of considerable stress over the last 6 months. In a recent conversation with Dad's attorney, I was surprised how much I clung to the lawyer's affirmation that, despite the hassles, I was doing precisely what Dad wanted me to do (although, I think deep down the lawyer disagreed with Dad's wishes).
When I woke up Sunday morning, I could tell I had been dreaming about the house. I couldn't remember a lot of details; Dad was present in some of them and absent in others. My subconscious often deals with stress - and grief - in dreams. Anyway, just as I was coming awake, I heard a voice that seemed un-dreamlike and didn't fit in the dream I was having. And I was still asleep enough that I feel like I missed a portion of what was said. But what I heard was that I was doing all right with the tasks left for me and that my perseverance was important or appreciated (that part wasn't clear to me - mostly just the word "persevere.").
The mystical little girl inside me would love to think that was a message from my father. And I know God can do all things, so it is possible. But maybe it was only a dream. Either way, I am hanging on to it - clinging to it, desperately, with hope that the words are true - that I have honored my father this year - and that the business part of my grief is almost completed.