November 30, 2010
Groggy with sleep, unwilling to disturb my cocoon of blankets even to reach out and turn off the alarm, I lay replaying the dream from which I have just awoken. Dreams are ephemeral. I often struggle to grasp the last wisps of them as sleep drains out of my brain and the reality of the day enters. This morning, for some reason, the dream has stayed with me.
Dreams are, so frequently, just bizarre. Hidden meanings lurk in their depths I’m sure, but how do you attempt to decipher the meaning of elephants blocking a bridge, flying sans airplane, or even years after high school, a struggle to open your locker. Sometimes though, it is all too obvious that a dream is a well-designed metaphor for thoughts that have been lurking in the convolutions of your brain.
In my dream this morning, my husband and I were going to go to a restaurant located on a city street. When we got there, all of the parking spaces on the street were open. The entire street was empty. Yet, we couldn’t find the right parking space - first parking here, then there, or maybe it’s better over there. When we got inside the restaurant, steps and stairways led to all of the dining spaces and we wandered around looking for a ramp. We eventually found one, hidden behind a wall. The dining room was empty, but we couldn’t seem to find the right table, changing our minds several times about where to sit. Why was everything so difficult? Why did all of our choices seem so important? Lauren wasn’t with us....but her wheelchair was We needed to manage its limitations, make room for it, care for it. Its presence guided our decisions and our actions.
In my dream the wheelchair represented the stress, fear, and worry that are the constant companions of a parent of a child with severe, multiple disabilities. Lately, I have been thinking about the independence that Lauren having her own home may offer both her and I. However, my constant companions will always be there. Neither of us will ever be free to cut the cord that is wrapped around both of our lives forever. She is my sweet, beautiful angel of a child yet sometimes it feels as though that cord will strangle me. I get so tired, so very tired of my constant companions that I want to stamp my feet and say, “I just don’t want to do this anymore!” But that is not an option. When I grasp for perspective I know that compared to many, many families, we are actually in a very good position – Lauren has services, we can afford to provide her with the things that they do not cover, and we have good people supporting us. Sometimes, though, I just want to be selfish. I want to let go of the cord, even if just for awhile....and rest, sleep. But sleep is full of dreams, and even in my dreams, my constant companions find a way to remind me that they are never very far away.