Lab ended a little early, so I went home to find Mom watching a soap opera. To which I said, “Mom, you watch soap operas?” She said she was so stunned by how silly soap operas have become that she was physically incapable of changing the channel. I told her that Vivian and I watch soap operas when we’ve had especially bad days and need an awesome laugh. (They really work!)
Mom couldn’t believe how mean the people were on the soap opera she was watching. She said everyone seemed like they were out to hurt each other. And I told her that’s why I liked the story Grandpa used to tell. Because it was never about those things you see in soap operas. That’s when we started to discuss his bedtime story. Trying to recall everything that happened. In bits and pieces. Then putting it all together. And this is what we remember:
- There is a little girl named Tamara.
- She lives and works on a farm with her mother and father.
- Tamara talks to them constantly about her wish to explore the world one day.
- One night during a particularly heavy storm, a mysterious visitor knocks on their door.
- Tamara’s mother and father invite the visitor inside for a hot meal and coffee.
- Before the storm ends, her parents share a private conversation with the visitor, and then he leaves.
- That night Tamara has the most amazing dream, with dinosaurs and robots and lights that always glow.
- And every night, the same dream continues from where she had left off.
- And the dream world grows larger and lusher.
- But when she wakes up that first morning, she discovers that her parents can no longer speak.
- They don’t seem alarmed by it. They just continue on as if all were normal.
- And every morning, she finds a new note with the same message from her mother and father: Together, we will make tomorrow beautiful.
- When she returns to the dream world, she tells her new friends her problem. That she needs to find a cure for her parents.
- Tamara’s friends tell her about a king and queen who created the dream world in which they live. That the king and queen will have the answer to her problem.
- Her friends say the king and queen live on the farthest edge of the dream world in a kingdom in the clouds.
- With all of her new friends, Tamara sets out on a quest to find the king and queen.
- She searches all of dream world for them, with interesting new challenges popping up along the way, until she reaches the cloud kingdom.
- But the kingdom is empty.
- Just as she is about to give up, she remembers her parents. She realizes that they were the only ones who could have created this.
- Tamara wakes up.
- She races to tell them what she knows – that they had created the dream world.
- Once again able to speak, they tell Tamara they made it all…for her. But only she could build upon this world they created.
- So Tamara returns to the dream world with her parents. And they continue to build upon it. Together.
I have to say, I had such an awesome time recalling this story with Mom. And she seemed to enjoy herself too. Smiling. Laughing. Often quick to finish my sentences. There’s just something about Grandpa’s story. I’m finally getting the sense that she’s open to facing the other stories in Grandpa’s life. The ones that grow more and more real every day. So, I’m going to start sharing it all with her. First chance I get. Tomorrow.