53: Mom’s Dreams

53: Mom’s Dreams

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom

Mom’s Dreams

Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope.

~Author Unknown

One of the things I love about my mom is that she has always been a dreamer. My mom is almost seventy-five years old and you know what she did this spring? She planted an orchard! A pecan orchard. She’s imagining in a few years she will stroll along the orchard lanes with a basket harvesting pecans. In five years she’ll be almost eighty! But that’s my mom.

I was in junior high when she married my stepfather. They are a match made in heaven—both dreamers and very happy. It’s like she and my stepfather are these old vaudeville actors and they have this tired old bit, talking about their dreams, that they trot out every show like they are fresh and new. All you can really do is watch the show and smile and nod and try to act sincerely interested.

When I first heard their dreams, I believed them, every word. But by the time I was sixteen I began to wonder when all these things were supposed to happen. By the time I was eighteen I knew they were never going to happen. My mother and stepfather didn’t have the business sense to make a million dollars, so they had to rely on dreams instead. It worked for them.

I think deep down they didn’t want the dreams to come true; that’s not what their dreams were for. The joy was in the wanting, not the possessing, and they were rich in want. Usually, folks burn out on the wanting and give up their dreaming. Not my folks, not my mom. Her dreams never stopped feeding her.

My wife and I are more pragmatic, especially my wife. I just accept that is how my mom operates, but it drives my wife up the wall. “How can they be so silly?” As if there was an answer to why puppies and kitties are so cute. They just are.

It worked when I was lying in a coma in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. The doctors were advising my family to start looking into long-term care facilities. Everybody was advising my fiancée that she should make a quiet exit. No one believed I would be anything more than a vegetable.

Except my mom. As I lay dying she said, “Mike is going to be alright. You watch, he’ll come through this better than ever.” And my then fiancée, now my wife, always the pragmatic one, chose that one time to believe my mom’s dream talk. And that one single, solitary time my mom’s dream was spot on. Her whole life of dreaming was worth it just so that she could give Linda a foundation of hope that one time to build her own dream and wait for me to get better. We’ve been married more than a quarter century now, and it’s all thanks to my mom.

~Michael Strand

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