Friday, September 5, 2014
Mashed potatoes with barbecue sauce
Some time after my father died, he visited me in a dream. It was just him, my mom, my sister Marilyn, and me, and we were sitting in the smallest bedroom of my parents' house.
I've already told you the story of the day my dad appeared to me on a Long Island Rail Road train, so I want to be clear right from the start: I do not assign anywhere near the same amount of gravitas to this dream as I do to that experience. What happened that day on the train ride to Rockville Centre ranks way up there in the highest stratosphere of true, spiritual experiences I have had. This one here? No. Not so much.
Still, I believe it was real, because it felt much more real than most other dreams I've had.
In this dream, my mother, my sister, and I, all of us very much alive, were talking with my dad about how he was enjoying Heaven so far. Strangely, the only thing about the dream I now remember (though I may one day find I wrote down more in one of my old journals at the time), is that my dad told us to try barbecue sauce in our mashed potatoes.
He could have told us about what it's like to be in Heaven, or what God is like, or what famous people he's now met. He didn't. He could have told us any number of things about how time and space really work. He didn't. Instead, he chose to tell us to try mashed potatoes with frickin' barbecue sauce. We looked at him like he was crazy, and he assured us he was speaking the truth.
My expectations for this small family reunion were much higher than the culinary revelation my father's ghost revealed to me that night. I have to admit though, he was actually right.
A few weeks after I had this dream, I was having mashed potatoes with my dinner. And I had some barbecue sauce available too, so I figured I'd try it. I still think hearing about Heaven and God, or any of the many mysteries of life would have been much cooler, but the mashed potatoes with barbecue sauce? They were absolutely divine!