I dreamed I was standing at the edge of a cliff with a man. I was confused about which direction to go. The man’s face, turned away, gave me a shadowed glimpse. Only his cowboy boots were clearly visible, but I knew my father stood beside me because of the comfortable silence and the strength, trust we share. A link that has always been present and has never needed vocalization….”it is what it is”.
The next day the dream nagged me. Since his brain surgery, a result of a head injury from hitting a beam in the barn, his memory had deteriorated. He went from total freedom to being able to drive a mere five miles from home and making notes on a pad of paper. His world has drastically changed. My worry for him is constant.
I called (Facetime), just to check in and relieve the pestering worry from my disturbing dream. I offered my services to help manage, feed the animals or whatever needed to be done. The commute is long, but nothing could keep me away–if my dad needed me.
I asked what he was doing, all the while anticipating the answer.
“Watching a western,” he said.
It has been a year since his surgery and during his down time he watches westerns. My mother complains about the gunplay, the smack, smash, ongoing battle noises. “It’s constant,” she said.
I had to know, to find out why he had a fascination with westerns. As a child/teen/young adult I never once observed him engrossed in a western (cowboy) movie. Was this an aberration of his brain injury?
“Dad, you like westerns don’t you?”
“Yes.” In the background I glimpsed a deep voiced man telling a dirty cowpoke to drop his gun.
“Why do you watch westerns all the time?”
“Because they remind me of the past, my past. They make me happy.”
Tears clogged my throat.
I discovered during his youth he watched the great western movies (sorry I can’t recall the titles). My mom showed me a black and white photo of him as a child dressed in western gear. His white blonde hair stuck out from underneath the hat. A kerchief had been tied around his neck and a tiny pair of cowboy boots completed the outfit.
He sought a happier time, a time when watching westerns was a simple method of being happy, of remembering.
Fantasies with spice and humor.
The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love
Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. http://www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
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