Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Story From the Past Part I: Dreaming Doesn’t Hurt

By Travis Lane
Edited by Elizabeth (Lane) Hibbard

This whole journey with Arianna’s sudden sickness happening so quickly is certainly not something anyone would expect. No parent could ever wish up their child the pain and agony that Haley and I have watched wretch and possess the body of our sweet, little angel, Arianna.
Yet, here we are, in a hopeless circular hell that keeps going round about. We’re her parents. Her little eyes look soulfully at us, as if we have the power to stop the doctors from hurting her. I’ve had to hold her down while the doctors “hurt” her. I’ve had to listen to her sweet little voice cry out, “Daddy, daddy, help me!” And, I can’t. For the first time in my life, I can’t help her. It hurts more than any pain I have ever felt.

We’re watching helplessly each day as she struggles with her pain. We have kept our spirits high and our attitudes positive whenever we are around her. We don’t want her to see tears or pain in our eyes, so we keep it carefully hidden. If she could understand the pain we feel, she may very well give up just to save her parents from their agony. Sometimes we have momentary lapses where we want her to give up simply so that she may be free her from this body that is inflicting such pain and torture.

I have been experiencing a recurring dream that I can’t help but ponder on in my waking hours. It’s so strange, sometimes I only sleep one hour a night, but I still have the same dream. I’ve tried to figure it out. Tried to understand what meaning it holds. I’ve come to the resolution that it doesn’t have any meaning, it’s just a safe place for my mind to go to get away from the challenges we’re experiencing in the waking hours of my life.

The dream, however, has touched my heart. It is of a time in my life when I had no worries. I didn’t have the stress of financial burdens. I didn’t have to worry about where I lived or what I had to eat. I had good friends and a carefree life. I didn’t have the daily struggle of watching my own child suffer. The dream is not actually a dream in the sense that it is a fictional story. The dream is about a real-life event I had with three of my closest childhood friends. But the memory comes to me in a dream.

As I have thought more about that dream, I realized just how much those moments of my childhood meant to me. It is no small coincidence that during the worst part of my adult life, that dream with those friends has crossed through the boundaries of time and reached out to me as a way of supporting me. Though nothing more than mental imagery, it is a real as if it happened yesterday. The feelings, the camaraderie, the innocence, and the childlike illusions are all intact. And, those feelings buffer the pain and illustrate just how beautifully interwoven each of us are in the tapestry of life.

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