Monday, May 19, 2014

My New Recurring Dream

Dear John,
 
I dreamed about you last night. It was my new usual dream - I dreamed that you were back. You had really died, but you'd gone to Heaven and been healed, and then came back.
 
We always have such a good time. It's the first time I've ever known you with no health problems. By the time we met in college, you'd already had rheumatic fever and knew there was a valve replacement in your future. And three months later you had your first round of cancer. In these dreams, it's so nice to have you perfectly healthy.
 
It's nice, it's always a hard thing to get used to. It's a bit of a shock in every dream. And somewhere in the dream I find myself wondering what effect it might have on your personality and behavior. I remember one time a few years ago when we were talking about all of your health issues. We decided that we couldn't say we wished none of it had happened, because we had no idea who we would be if you'd always been healthy. And that's my concern in every one of these new dreams. I tell myself that you're in your late fifties so you're unlikely to change in any substantive way, but I'm always anxious about it.
 
So tonight I'm thinking about the futility of asking "what if." Your cancer, radiation, and the aftermath were such major parts of our lives that I really don't know who we would have been without them. And that leads me back to the theological realities. If God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful, then what he does and allows are for our eternal good. All of your health problems were a necessary part of our journey toward Heaven. Remembering this helps me to be grateful even in the midst of pain. It would help more if you had just remembered to take me with you when you left - but I don't want to nag you about that, so we'll leave that there.
 
Adore you just as you are,
Joan.

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