I awoke from a dream that I was convinced would go unexplained. The dream was about a word, Manoppello. I believe many of my dreams are an amalgamation of one part fantasy and one part reality recollected. However, determining how much of the sleep generated story is fantasy and how much is based on reality is a difficult, if not impossible, undertaking.
This sleeping vision did not die and fade away with the birth of a new day’s sun as the dream entered my sleep night after night for more than a week. In some bizarre way I looked forward to, and even relished, the chance to sleep believing that more information would be brought forward in the dream. I hoped that I would find clues that might offer an explanation as to the meaning of the dream, the meaning of the word Manoppello and how it all related to the vision of the easily recognized image of my son, David.
I feel as though most dreams are nothing more than whimsical nonsense and can be explained by life’s events, but this was a sleeping vision that I could not fully explain. I knew how I wanted to explain the dream but I could not allow myself to fully accept that interpretation; at least not for the time being. Although it seemed impossible, I wondered, if in absentia and through my sleeping dreams, David was trying to tell me something. I desperately wanted to believe that.
As the dream began I found myself in a large room with white sterile walls. The room was devoid of furniture and decorations save that of a table that rested in the room’s center. On that table I could see a human form and, as if compelled by some unseen force, I began to walk toward that motionless figure. As I came nearer the figure I saw that it was the body of a young man. The man’s seemingly lifeless body was covered from his feet to the waist with a white cloth. I had to see the face of the man so I continued to walk toward the man moving closer and closer.
As I came near I observed that the face and head of the man were covered with a cloth. I stopped as if some unseen presence prevented me from coming any closer to the young man but suddenly a soft voice, a man’s voice, came into my mind and said, “Monopello, the veil of Veronica now covers the face of David.” Then the cloth slowly fell to the floor and there was a face I knew well; it was the face of my deceased son, David.
For eighteen months the cancer grew inside David and neither multiple surgeries, the introduction of toxic drugs into his body nor the indiscriminate cell killing blasts of radiation could stop the deadly malignancy from devouring the young man’s liver. With no remorse the relentless disease was killing its host but little did it care, and it showed no compassion for the still young man I knew as David.
The deadly cancer tore at the young man’s body and spirit and the malignancy sadly changed the lives of the family who watched as eighteen months passed. At the end of those eighteen months, and on a cool dark night in September of 2006, David quietly died in his sleep. There was no drama as the inevitable had for some time been anticipated.
After the passage of many mornings, each of which was preceded by that same dream, I decided that I needed to determine the meaning of the vision, and the word Manoppello. After a day of research I learned that Manoppello is the name of an Italian village which holds a special place in the minds of Christians.
A piece of cloth is stored in a small church there, Santuario Del Volto Santo, and that swath of fabric is believed to be the “Veil of Veronica.” Christians and the devout of faith all over the world are familiar with the “Veil of Veronica” and the cloth in the small church in Italy. The cloth is believed to have long ago covered the face of one who was crucified and to this day hold his image; that of the face of Jesus.
But my dreams did not show me the face of Jesus. The face under the cloth was that of my son, David. How could I possibly explain the connection he had to Manoppello? Had I pieced together bits of information from various sources and ideas which came together to force this dream into my mind each night? I realize that within me lives a nagging compulsion that forces me to clarify the seemingly unexplainable by bringing some comforting logic into the equation which will lead to a resolution that I find acceptable.
A friend recently offered her interpretation of my dream. She believes that God was telling me that he also had a son that once lived on this earth and that son, as did David, found that his mortal life came to an all too soon end. My friend believes that God was trying to assure me that David’s soul is alive and well and he is now with God’s son, Jesus.
I always assumed that David would watch as I grew old and he would be there when I eventually succumbed to the weight of all those years. Parents should die long before their children do. That is the natural order of life and that sequence should be followed. When a child dies before their parent, a part of the parent also dies.
When I awoke each morning I was afraid. I was afraid because the thought of the dream’s meaning was so very foreign to my beliefs. But, as the dreams continued I gave them more and more consideration and the fear left me. I began to believe that if the dreams were nothing more that bits and pieces of information which were stored in the back of my mind no harm had been done.
The dreams have now ceased to come to me while I sleep and a feeling of tranquility has now come over me. If the dreams had a more spiritual meaning, or even contained some morsels of truth; I now feel a sense of comfort knowing that my son, David may be with, whom many believe to be, God’s one and only son, Jesus.
My son’s life was taken by an evil disease, cancer and God’s son was taken by an equally hideous affliction, the absence of faith that dwelled within the minds and hearts of mankind.