17: Happily Ever After

17: Happily Ever After

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Happily Ever After

The way to a woman’s heart is through her children.

~Author Unknown

Early one morning, I awoke from a dream and found myself grinning from ear to ear. It had been eons since I felt this content.

In this vision, I saw the figure of a large, muscular man. His face was blurry, but I could distinguish that he had dark features. His warmth and affection were very comforting, and his presence was homey.

I wished this dream had lasted longer and tried to savor this blissful state.

During the following week, I was haunted by the image of this enigmatic man. I believed that this dream was more than a fantasy, perhaps a message, but trying to keep the memory alive by being overly analytical did not bring me any closer to understanding what it all meant. I even replayed this dream in my head while trying to fall asleep, hoping to encounter this mystery man again in my slumber, but I couldn’t make it happen. As time passed, key moments of this dream remained strong, but the rest faded. Other matters took priority in my life, and I was no longer obsessed with figuring out what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

A year later, I was invited to view a friend’s new house, which was under construction. I showed up one hot summer afternoon with my two-year-old son, Lee.

“I really like the design and layout of the home,” I said as we walked around the various rooms. “It’s going to be beautiful!”

The carpenters on site noticed Lee’s animated face as he observed their labor, and they seemed pretty amused.

“All little boys love tools,” the head of the crew said with a grin.

For some strange reason, this carpenter looked familiar. I ran through various possibilities in my mind, but I just couldn’t place him. I gave him a friendly smile, reached for my son’s hand, and continued to explore the house with my girlfriend.

“You’re welcome to pop in anytime,” my friend said to me. “I can see how much Lee loves watching the guys work.”

“Yes, he does,” I agreed. “I will. Thanks.”

In subsequent weeks, I found myself, with Lee in tow, heading over to my friend’s house, even without her presence, in order to give my little guy more access to carpenters swinging hammers and sawing boards. I sensed that as long as my son was not getting in the way, they didn’t mind our presence.

Many trips later, I confessed to myself that I had an ulterior motive. Dave, the large, muscular head carpenter, was the main reason I made excuses to visit the house so often. This man was fun loving, easy to talk to, and had a great sense of humor. I was also charmed by the way he interacted with my son.

“How’s my little buddy?” Dave would say to Lee as we entered the building.

He remained on his break noticeably longer, chatting with me and demonstrating “guy stuff” with various tools to my toddler. In time, a strong connection was forming between us, which I couldn’t ignore. I considered inviting Dave over for dinner, but I was conflicted. Was it the right decision to be allowing another man into our home and my young boys’ lives? Would it be damaging to them if our friendship didn’t work out? I weighed the pros and cons, and then listened to my heart.

The next time I saw Dave, I struck up my nerve and asked, “Would you like to come for supper?”

“I’d love to,” he answered without hesitation.

The initial time Dave spent with my family was truly unforgettable. During that evening, the phone rang just as Lee vied for my attention. To avoid a typical two-year-old outburst, I scooped up my son and answered the call while Lee sat on my lap trying to grab the phone. After a few seconds, to my astonishment, I watched as two strong arms reached out and relieved me of my pesky little boy.

“Let’s go over here,” Dave said to Lee while carrying him away.

I sat there in awe, almost moved to tears by the sensitivity of this large man.

From the onset, Dave established a caring relationship with both Lee and his older brother, Nathaniel, and made an effort to spend time with my “little men.” I learned early on in our friendship that Dave had two girls whom he saw every other weekend and missed terribly. His younger daughter, Cheryl, was five, the same age as Nathaniel, and Jana, his older, was eight. It was obvious that being around my children and soaking up their kid energy definitely helped him fill that void.

“Why don’t you bring your girls over sometime?” I suggested to him.

“I would really like that,” Dave said enthusiastically.

The next weekend, two sweet girls arrived, accompanied by their dad.

“It’s great to see how well all four kids are getting along,” Dave said as his face lit up.

“It sure is,” I agreed with a smile.

We exchanged warm glances while watching my boys share their toys with the girls. Over the next few months, Dave visited regularly. He had many entertaining stories to tell, and conversation between us was effortless. In time, our friendship grew and developed into something more intimate. Witnessing my sons bonding with Dave added to his attractiveness and was a strong extension of our friendship.

One day, as I pondered my relationship with my new boyfriend, it struck me that Dave was the mystery man in my dream. I was thrilled by this awareness and realized that the dream was a premonition, which was why it impacted me so strongly. I instantly felt more settled and was anxious to relay my dream to this wonderful man. After the children were asleep one evening, I told Dave in great detail about this vision that had puzzled me so many months earlier. He sat quietly and listened. After a few seconds of watching him deliberate, Dave looked at me and said, “I’ve been in love with you for quite a while now.”

“I feel the same about you,” I said.

It was enough to reassure us that we were meant to be together. Twenty-one years have gone by since we revealed our love to each other. The highlight of our relationship has always been sharing the upbringing of our four children. In the past few years, both Jana and Cheryl have provided us with beautiful grandchildren, and we recently celebrated Nathaniel’s wedding. Life doesn’t get much better than that! I will always remember and am eternally grateful for the dream that connected me with my soul mate. Sometimes, by listening to your heartstrings, you can make your dream come true.

~Dalia Gesser

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