Wednesday, July 25, 2012

STUFFED ANIMALS AND WEDDING DATES

"How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?"
~Dr. Seuss

I am a vivid dreamer. My mind seems as active during sleep as it is when I am awake. I don't have prophetic dreams, but some are so long and detailed they remain with me throughout the day. I am not one to go looking for hidden messages from my states of slumber. But I don't want to miss "the writing on the wall" if there is something to be gleaned.

A dream I had last week still lingers in my memory. I'd found out I had only two weeks to live. The part leading up to this discovery is insignificant. What stays with me are the events that unfolded after my diagnosis. I remember telling my family the news, and how each one reacted.  Every moment of my life took on new significance; there were so few left to enjoy.

I was terrified of being buried, and I wanted a stuffed animal in my casket to keep me company. My son took charge and drove me to multiple stores to find just the right one. Later in my dream, I realized I wouldn't be here to see our daughter's wedding. I pleaded with her and her fiance to get married before I departed. When they hesitated, I said that a pre-ceremony would be fine. I just wanted to hear them say their vows. Each person had a unique way of responding to my pending death, letting me know they loved me and would miss me.

Do I think I am going to die soon because of this dream? No. But I do believe I can learn a little about how I want to live. And therein lies the gift in this dream. It's all about the people we love. We are inundated with so many distractions, demands, and everyday dealings that have no real  and lasting value in the overall scheme of things. We spend precious time stressing over stuff that is anything but precious.

This dream wakes me up to the fact that I allow too many "killjoys" to infiltrate my day. Things that really don't matter I let dictate my mood. Like the grumpy waiter...the  abrupt response...the mixup regarding a bill I already paid. The list goes on and on. Why do I let the little things get to me? I don't want to give these "killjoys" power over me, my moods, and my precious time.

We all have an expiration date. We may not be able to change it, but we certainly have a say in how we spend each day...each hour...each moment. My dream reminds me of this truth. I don't expect to be shopping for a stuffed animal any time soon, or pleading with my daughter to move up her wedding date. But I hope I see the value in the gift of the time I have left. Whether it's two weeks, or fifty years, I want to make the most of it.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
~Psalm 90:12

"Life is short, God's way of encouraging a bit of focus." ~Robert Brault

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see."
~John Burroughs

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
~Annie Dillard

"Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely." 
~Thomas P. Murphy

"That it will never come again
 Is what makes life so sweet."
~Emily Dickenson

             

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