Today I Woke Up

Last night I had a dream.
She was suddenly falling, my little girl, through murky water, down and down and down. And I was in the water too, and I couldn't sink fast enough to catch her. And there seemed to be no bottom (to what in my dream I called Lake Erie), and I couldn't reach her. I couldn't. And when I lost sight of her altogether--when I caught the last glimpse of her fine hair floating up as her little limbs sped down--I woke myself up from the grief I couldn't bear to dream about much less live.

Now I'm sitting outside in real life, and she is wearing two shades of pink on top, two shades of purple on bottom and a Harley Davidson helmet on her head. She wheeled her tricycle aside, and now with slip-on shoes slipped on the wrong feet, she's dribbling her pink soccer ball into the net that stands half as tall as she is. (How ever did she get so tall?) So far, she's made five goals and we've exchanged five high fives. Oh wait--make that six.

When horrors happen under real waters or on top of real operating tables, when life falls apart on the driveway, in a court room, down a back alley, we hear it said. I just wish I could wake up, that this was all just a bad dream.

Today I woke up. It was just a bad dream. Today I live what so many have wished. Today I am wide awake to the joy that stands in direct opposition to the grief, to the losing that makes the finding a gushing relief. Today I am wide, wide awake.

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