Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Last week, I wrote a post answering the questions I begged you to ask me. I gave readers about a week to get their questions in, but there’s always got to be that one guy who waits a little too long to participate and thinks he can squeak in with no one noticing. That guy is Phil Taylor from The Phil Factor.

Phil asked me, after I had already posted my answers, If your life could suddenly be perfect, your dream life, what would it look like and what little step are you taking today towards that? 

Now Phil and I have a pretty good rapport. We’re both unapologetically sarcastic and will often joke back and forth with each other in the comments sections of our respective blogs. We’ve fine tuned it pretty well at this point. So, you’d think it would be easy for me to come back with some sort of witty quip, but I couldn’t.

Worse still, I couldn’t come up with a genuine answer either. It was early in the morning, I had yet to caffeinate. Maybe that was it. Ginormous cup of tea down the hatch, breakfast and writing. Still nothing. I could not visualize, in any sense, what my dream life could be. Homeschool math and lunch, another cup of tea. Still nothing.

Surely every person has visualized their dream life of the future. Imagining winning the lottery and suddenly living a life with no economic barriers. Or creating a goal in your job or your relationship, perhaps you want to be a CEO one day or have a kid or two. Maybe you want to travel the world or take up a new hobby. Everybody has something they dream about.

I asked myself, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I come up with something, anything? Why can’t I dream?

Oh yeah, I’ve been too busy being sick. 

Your world gets small when you’re sick. Everything closes in. Dreams are no longer measured in decades and lifetimes. They are sometimes measured in minutes or hours, weeks if you’re lucky. One more hour until I can have another zofran. My husband will be home in 15 minutes and I can go to bed then. MRI is next month and then I’ll know if the chemo is working. 

For the past five years my life has been in a tailspin. If it wasn’t recovering from surgery it was trying to afford it. If it wasn’t pleading to get insurance approval for chemo it was figuring out how to endure the side effects. If it wasn’t learning how to walk independently it was facing the reality of my physical limitations when I finally could.

Last weekend we went to a local art festival. The weather was unseasonably warm, but it was a nice day anyway. Our son has always had a love for photography, recently expressing a desire to take a more serious interest in it. He was looking forward to adding another piece to his small collection, another item he could hang on his wall.

The work of photographer Walter Arnold was the first to catch my son’s eye. His exhibit was called The Art of Abandonment and it was visually stunning. We purchased a print and had a nice chat with him about his method and practice as a professional artist. He was incredibly kind and would have spent the entire afternoon talking to our son, if not for the line of folks waiting to purchase his work.

On the way home we talked about what a nice day we had and where our son wanted to hang his new photo. It morphed into a discussion about how we had just encountered dozens of artists and craftsmen that had worked hard to perfect their craft and make a living from it, or at least a partial living. See, it is possible to forge your own path, son. Never stop dreaming of what may be. 

I sit here, remembering that hope I tried to give my son about never letting your heart die, as I watch the beats in mine grow more silent. Where is my hope? Why can’t I dream?

I can never hope for perfect health in the future. The vision of my running a marathon is gone. There will always be physical limitations now, emotional scars. Recurrence has happened once already. The possibility of it happening again is there. It looms. It hovers, even now that there has been space and time.

The everyday stress is beginning to lift, though. As the vice slowly loosens from my head, as I chip away at the debt, as I get further from the days of oral chemo I have hope that dreams of what may be will replace fears of what might come. I long for them. My heart aches. I want the luxury of being able to want again. I crave daydreams.

I don’t know how to answer Phil’s question today. I don’t know what my dream life is. I can’t fathom perfection, so I have no idea how I’d even begin to get there.

When you’re sick your world does get small, but humans have an insatiable desire for largeness. Mankind feeds off of infinity. I am no different. My dreams will come back slowly. They may be interrupted at times by chaos but they will return, just like my hair did when chemo tried to steal it. The human body forever looks to rebuild. The human mind follows suit.

I don’t know how to answer Phil’s question today, but that doesn’t mean I won’t know how to answer it tomorrow or the next or the next. The dreams may have stopped, but the desire for them hasn’t. For now, that’s enough, but I look forward to the day when I want more, when I close my eyes and dream a little dream of me. I welcome the day when I get lost in what may be.


*Featured image is a shot of the print we bought. The photographer/artist is Walter Arnold and this piece is entitled, The Face of Death. 


19 thoughts on “Dream A Little Dream Of Me

  1. I have not faced a serious illness thus far, so do not know how it feels to live with that heavy cloud hovering. I do see from my work as a nurse that people who face incredible health challenges continue as you do to persevere, plan ahead, and find joy in their lives. I find joy in my every day life because over time I’ve learned that this is where I mostly live. The mountain top experiences are great when they occur but they are rare, so if I don’t find ways to be joyful in the valleys or the ordinary days, then my life will be disappointing. A cool, crisp October morning with a cup of hot coffee, sitting in my chair looking at the back yard while a line of turkeys march through makes me happy! This is my dream life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Surely the basic dream would be to win the lottery and meet the perfect doctor who could somehow chase away all your fears/make you magically better so that you can start dreaming about the really big dreams?

    Or would it be to swap lives with Jojo so you could be sarcastic in a cat way, and get to laze around without worrying about anything? As Jojo, you could probably eat Derek too(!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That sneaky Phil. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a quick answer for that one either and I don’t have near the excuse. That’s one of those tricky questions interviewers ask you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry you’ve been so ill. I love your attitude though, in recognizing that the perfect life rarely happens and that we have to take infinite pleasure in the small things every day. But keep dreaming–without dreams, we’d have nothing to strive for:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As soon as I read Phil’s question, I immediately tried to think of what my answer would be. I struggled to come up with something as well. Not sure if it’s because I truly don’t know, or if it’s because I’m in some sort of funk today. Anyways, I hope that desire catches flame and you’re able to answer it soon, because you deserve to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a very moving & beautiful post, Christine. My dreams have got a lot smaller since my health has suffered, now my dreams are just simple things that most people take for granted. So glad to hear you still desire dreams. That is a mighty good start x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t worry. (Har!) As my 72nd birthday looms (Sunday), I can tell you this: it’s never too late to dream. As you may know, I just published my first book, and am working on my second. You too will live – and dream – according to how you feel and how things are. Every decade I dreamed of something new, and consequently DID something knew, divorce & MS diagnosis be damned. As your health and situation allow, you will dream again, and make your dreams come true. (Love your fabulous writing. I see a book or books plural in *your* future.) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You just answered it…perhaps your dream life is another day. Perhaps we aren’t all meant to be Beyoncé, after all that life is taken. Perhaps tomorrow is amazing when you looked death in the eyes and told it to do one.

    Liked by 1 person

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