When I Was Young

One night when I was a young mother of two—a toddler and a newborn—I went to sleep feeling overwhelmed and not good enough. I dreamed, and in my dream I stood on the corner of E. Fourth Street and Vine, Prescott, Arkansas, waiting for my grandfather—William Robert Hambright—to walk home from the bank where he worked.

How many times I stood on that corner as a girl, anticipating that beloved figure.  How excited I would be when after what seemed an eternity I spied long-legged Pop, and the coat and hat he wore, coming toward me.

Now, this dream happened in 1984, five years after Pop died.  Yet in my dream, there he was, alive again.  At a distance he was just a dot, but by the emotion I felt, I knew him.  As he came closer I saw the familiar coat and hat, and I was filled with such joy.

Interestingly, Pop walked with another man—same height, dressed like Pop.  As they drew near, my eyes were only for Pop, and his delighted eyes were only for me.  We did not embrace but simply radiated love. Then, after a few words between us, he turned to his companion, whose face I could not quite make out, and Pop said, “This is my granddaughter. She lives in Beaumont, Texas.  She has two little boys, and she’s doing a fine job of being their mother.” The companion said nothing, revealed no expression.  I’m pretty sure he already knew. But the words wanted to be said.

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Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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