Those Dreams That Haunt You

Many times I dream, but more often than not I forget them the minute I wake up.  Once in awhile there is a dream that lingers in my brain and simply cries out to be brought into the light of day.  I just had one of those dreams.

It Takes Place In a Storage Facility

I was walking by these storage units. Each was open and people seemed to be selling their wares.  I was a visitor walking past so many vendors.  I ran into an old friend.  She and I had been great friends years ago.  She was displaying her baskets.  I remember how much she loved making her baskets.  We hugged and she simply said, “I decided it was time to share these.”  We didn’t talk about the years that had passed without even a word between us.  We just simply enjoyed the moment.  Then we saw another man wonder by; another visitor like me.  He looked depressed, walking slowly and reflectively, and he looked especially old at that moment.  He smiled when he saw both of us. It turns out that we knew him. We shared the moment and then separated.  I continued walking past vendor after vendor, lingering on thoughts of these past friends.

And Then I Realize That No One Is Selling Their Wares

I happen onto a heated discussion between a vendor and a passerby. The passerby wanted to try a piece of the vendor’s prized carrot cake.  It seemed to make the vendor angry. Why wasn’t he pleased? It was then, I think, that I actually realized that no one was selling anything.  These were displays!  People were displaying the things they loved the most!

They Were Sharing Their Dreams

Then it dawned on me:  that’s why my friend was sad.  He seemed to have nothing of significance to share. I remember him as a very smart man, full of passion for his job, working long past normal work hours and long past his formal retirement date. But, when he finally stopped going to work, his dream ended.  This job that had consumed his life left him with a huge hole. Now, here he was walking past person after person who seemed to have realized other dreams; dreams that didn’t earn money, that weren’t  “jobs”.  They were passions outside of work.

The Storage Unit

This location; this storage facility, today, was bursting with excitement.  Dreams had been brought out of storage.  Dreams were being celebrated by their owners.  Those dreams weren’t big deals to anyone, maybe, other than the dreamers. “I make baskets.”  “I make  really good carrot cake.” Dreams, so many dreams, brought out of storage to celebrate and share on this day.  So many dreams are left in storage while we work on the things that we think will make us important.  For my friend, his job was his dreams.  Now it left him sad and empty. My other friend seemed content.  She’d had a good job too but she had moved on. She was content with her projects.  They were her projects, after all.  Like them or don’t like them:  she didn’t care.  Yet, she was thrilled to share them on this day.

So Why Am I In This Dream?

While I was dreaming, my thought was that this might be a great place to try to sell my nature photos; the objects of my current pastime.  But when I realized that no one was really selling,  I woke up.

I was puzzled and needed to continue to ponder this dream.   I felt bad for my sad friend.  It was his sadness that had me thinking…My work had been my passion too.  When I left, I felt that same hole.  Did he represent me?  Or did the other friend represent me?  Was I walking past the vendors because I have yet to accomplish my dream? Will I someday regret letting life pass me by and not finding my life dream? The thing was, I didn’t feel sad. Other people’s sites left me inspired. What is it that I’m doing that fills me with joy; that thing that I do for no pay and it would be something I would never sell?  I wanted to figure this out.

And Then I Did!

I have the opportunity to spend beautiful time with four little people.  I gladly do it for no pay. My grandchildren make my heart sing.  Fighting fires with my four year old grandson or racing Hot Wheel cars up and around his Super Ultimate Garage, listening to my two year old granddaughter burst into full out sentences, singing songs to the one year old granddaughter and watching her make connections with pictures in books, and now snuggling with my one week old granddaughter.  This is the gift that has been given to me.  This is the passion that I have found since retiring that fills me with joy.  And, I share this joy as often as their parents allow. And there is something that comes from sharing joy.  Joy spreads!

What a wonderful dream.  What a wonderful time pondering its meaning.

And, wouldn’t it be fun if everyone pondered what their passion is?  But it has to be something that you don’t do for money.  It has to be something that simply brings you joy.

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Fast Forward

Morning Pages, my journal, has become an important part of my morning routine.  It has been a place for me to share my joy and my sorrow, my anger and frustrations.  No one needs to see my words, ever, unless I choose to share.

The past blogs have been about a potential change in my life and how I processed it through words on paper.  I had to stop sharing when the pain became too deep.

I didn’t stop writing daily in my journal, however.  Over the past two months, there were moments of dread…hope…devastation… fear…realization…grief… acceptance…and now today patiently waiting to get to the other side.

Sprinkled in amongst the elements of change were moments of normalcy, even joy.

Life.

It’s all there.  Documented for me to review.  What I see is that, after scratching out all the anger (you can see it in my handwriting as well as in my words), I found my way to understanding.

My daughter is moving far away.  She is taking, with her, my job, my joy, my grandson. Change is hard on everyone.

She sat, calmly, while I cried.  She stood, strong, with her man. Time passed, and we didn’t talk about it.  Instead, we focused on the daily activities of the baby; superficial conversation to keep the tears from my eyes.   At one point, in my journal, I wrote what I knew I needed to write:  “Let go.  Let God.”  I put this in God’s hands.

It was at this point that I started listening, hearing words that weren’t spoken, out loud, but still so clearly evident.  My daughter. I started hearing my daughter. The words were there, behind her eyes.  A mom knows.  This was breaking her heart too.  But, she appeared, on the outside, to be happy about the opportunity for “an adventure” as she called it.

When I found my strength, she could let go of her’s.

She cried. “I’m afraid.”

“Me too!” is all I could say back.

But, at least we were talking together again. And then I could hug her and tell her how much I love her and that everything was going to be ok. And, I could once again be the support that she counts on with words of encouragement.  “This is an opportunity, a door that has been opened for you.  You would always wonder what was on the other side if you didn’t pass through this door.”

My journal documents the daily, gripping pain that I no longer shared out loud with her until it became monotonous even for me. My god, get over it already.  No one is dying!

And then, in the middle of the despair, my other daughter marries.  The clouds parted.  Joy and sunshine filled a few days. I practiced a toast over and over again until it became part of me.  Words of deep love for my daughter; my daughters. Words that tell our story:

“When their dad died, in 1994, we became a very tight unit.  We watch out for each other.  We help each other.  We have laughed and cried together, listened and loved each other through everything.”

And then, I offered up a toast that was more actual suggestions for a happy, successful marriage:  Watch out for each other.  Help each other. Laugh and cry together.  Listen and love each other through everything.

I looked at both my daughters, on this day, and saw beautiful women standing strong by their men.  And, I was a proud mom standing strong with my daughter; my daughters.

We have a bond. No move will break that bond.  But even today, as we count down the last two weeks before they move, I write again, “Let go.  Let God.  I feel I have.  At least, I’ve tried.  Letting go, doesn’t take away the grief.  It just removes the battle.”

Each day, my outward strength has allowed my daughter to grieve.  She is leaving a great job, wonderful friends, and lifetime of connections that has made her so successful.  She is allowing the light to shine on her husband now.  Her courage is amazing.  Still, she cries.  Seeing your daughter stand strong with tears in her eyes, is humbling. We have come full circle.  I smile.  I raised a daughter to be strong.  She is now giving strength back to me.