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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dreamland

We attended an absolutely stunning wedding over the weekend. My beautiful cousin married her high school sweetheart and the celebration was beyond fabulous. My sweet cousin’s dad (my uncle) passed away when she was 16, so she asked my Grandpa to walk her down the aisle. It was so very touching, and our hearts were flooded with emotion as she took each graceful step toward the alter.



And then it happened.

I allowed myself to go to that place. The place that has been sectioned off with yellow tape for a long, long time. The place that causes my head to spin, my heart to hope, and my eyes to fill with tears.

That place. The place called DREAMLAND.

I started to think about Ellie’s wedding day; how there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the church, as she held on to Richard’s arm with one hand, and her steadying cane with the other. How each step, no matter how laborious, would send a new tear running down each face. How all-consuming my joy would be, to know that my sweet angel had found love. How all the years of never-ending doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, of wondering and questioning, of tears and anguish, would be swept away by her flowing, white train.

Dreamland is a scary place. There are demons standing at the door, luring you in with warm fuzzies and hopefulness. Then, as soon as you enter, they laugh wickedly behind your back, anticipating the fall you’re about to take. The sweeter the dream, the harder the fall. And they know, always, that Ellie-dreams are my weakness.

They know that I would give my life to see the Ellie-dreams fulfilled. Without hesitation, I would give my life to make that image of Bride-Ellie a reality.

As my cousin’s wedding ceremony continued, and the pastor (the same one who married Richard and me) read from the Bible, I slowly inched my way out the back door of Dreamland. Perhaps the demons missed my exit, because, shockingly, it was rather quiet and painless.

I thought about all the work associated with weddings, and realized that it would be okay to never wear the “Mother of the Bride” name tag. I thought about how, after paying therapy, surgery and doctor’s bills for the next twenty years, there’d be no money left to pay for Ellie’s wedding anyway. I laughed in the face of the Dreamland gatekeepers, because cynicism is a weapon they cannot shield. And, my stock of cynical ammunition never runs dry.

Later that night, after the festivities were over, and my tired feet were under the covers of my luxurious, worth-every-stinkin-penny blanket, I lay still in the quiet. I thought about the image of Ellie in her wedding gown, and before I could reach for a weapon, God stepped in. Cynicism doesn’t work with God. Anger, and hopelessness and “Why me?” and “Why Ellie?”s don’t work with God. He sees through it all, and knows that I dream and hope for Ellie because I love her. As much as I love Ellie, He loves her even more. Nearly unfathomable, but true.

Although I felt God nudging me into HIS Dreamland, void of demonic doormen, I hesitated. I wanted Him to give me a sign that this dreaming wasn’t in vain. I wanted Him to reassure me that Ellie would have the mental capacity to fall in love. I wanted Him to promise that she would WALK down the aisle, either as a bride or a bridesmaid, one day.

He didn’t. There were no signs, no promises.

There was, however, reassurance. Affirmation that I’ll be able to handle Ellie’s future. A guarantee that He would be holding both our hands as we travel down this path of uncertainty.

I’m sure my heart-tears stained that virtual wedding dress. I’m sure that my adversaries in Dreamland are eagerly anticipating my return. But, as I turned over and rested my cheek against my soft pillow, I felt okay. And maybe even a little bit stronger. I entered Dreamland, spent a few blissful minutes there, exited quietly, and returned nearly wound-less. Maybe I can go there more often. Maybe.

4 comments:

Sunny said...

God's peace is amazing!

Tara said...

WOW! I have to dry my eyes just to comment. You have such an amazing way of writing. You made me feel like I was in Dreamland with you. I cried reading your post. I do read your blog often and think about that sweet little Ellie all of the time.

Melissa said...

Chrystie, my dear, sweet friend......I am right there with you!!! Perhaps DREAMLAND & CP VILLAGE can coincide together....your words are so amazing & I cried like a baby reading this post!!
You're an amazing Momma & I am so glad & honored to have you as a friend!!!

Barbara said...

A beautiful post. Dreamland can be a wonderful place and a scary place. You expressed it all perfectly.