Live Your Life

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

They say dreams are when our minds sort through painful emotional experiences, and by dreaming, our brains work out solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had. 


Several months after my dad died, I had two dreams that gave me strength during a pretty dark time. 
In one of those dreams, he and I had a lengthy conversation about Gordon Lightfoot (someone he nor I ever listened to) at a customer service counter inside a Home Depot. Since then, every time I hear "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on the radio, I’m reminded of that dream and my dad telling me, “Whenever you hear a Gordon Lightfoot song, I’ll be there.” 
In the other dream, a traumatic event involving a sinkhole and a car, ended with me in tears and my father giving me a hug while saying, “I’m just a friend from your past. Live your life.” 
It’s been 12 years since we lost him, and between hearing Gordon Lightfoot singing at random (often crucial) times, and living my life, I’ve managed to cope with the loss of a pretty cool cat who wasn’t just my dad, but also a friend - from my past.
No, really.