I used to have a nightmare – I had it rather frequently – in which I was running as fast as I could, really giving it my all, only to realize that I was barely moving. I would wake up from these dreams panting, adrenaline coursing through my veins while my heart raced. The dream was terrifying not because of anything I was running from or toward, but because my body seemed completely out of my control, and because time had lost its proper meaning. I haven’t had that dream in a long time, but I remembered it the other night as I lay awake, and I realized that perhaps I haven’t had the dream because now I’m actually living it.
Some things are moving so fast, blurring by at the speed of light. My eldest son, whose footie-pajama-clad feet I can still remember padding down the hardwood floor in the hallway, is in college and engaged to be married. My youngest, whose comfort blanket still lies in the cedar chest, is taller than me, with a voice deeper than my husband’s, and is often mistaken for someone old enough to drive. How did they grow up so fast?
But some things don’t change at all, no matter how hard I try, to what extremes I go to get results. Three years of constant pain. Three years. If someone had told me back then that I’d go through four surgeries and untold number of painful therapies and treatments while the pain only got worse, that I’d lose my job and put my family’s future at risk, I’d probably have prayed to die on the table during the first operation. I’m still pushing ahead, giving it my all, but I’m getting nowhere. It’s a nightmare that starts, rather than ends, when I wake every morning.
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