Hopes, Dreams and Mirrors

My husband was a dreamer. I am not, nor have I ever been. To me, to dream is to hope for something, if that dream never comes true you have wasted your life hoping and dreaming. I could not face myself in the mirror knowing I had wasted my life on hopes and dreams rather than living it.

My husband not only dreamed, he bought. While he was still working it was not uncommon for him to call me at my workplace to tell me what “we” had bought. I would always tell him “I” had not bought anything. His reasoning was we would both enjoy whatever he purchased or maybe it would make life easier if it were some type of tool or appliance, thus “we” bought. On occasion I would take a picture with my cell phone of what he bought and show to co-workers. They always asked if I were mad at him for his impulsive spending. I would think and then answer no, if he wanted it, he had worked hard and it was his choice to make. I was happy that he was happy.

What I was not happy about was his constant looking at things and saying “One day we will buy this”. In the future he would change that to “One day I will buy/or have”. He did not hope and dream for what most people might wish for I suspect. His hopes and dreams were for Planes, Eighteen wheeler trucks (he was not a truck driver), owning a trucking company, traveling to places I knew we would never travel to, winning the lottery and paying off all families mortgages, owning multiple houses where we would spend each season, many things that I knew were not a possibility or even if they were, they were not what I would want if I were to allow myself to hope and dream.

I would always tell him to stop dreaming and live his life. He would reply he was living it. I would point out he had a lot and should appreciate all he had rather than wish for more. All this changed when he became ill. His hopes and dreams got bigger then life. They took on a life of their own. With each “I hope” or “When I get the chance” I would shoot his hopes and dreams down. Telling him that he needed to live his life, get better and when he was better than he could think about all these things he wanted, because as of that moment he would be unable to use anything he bought. I could see a little light fade from his eyes as he realized I was right. As his illness progressed, I finally stopped telling him to stop hoping and dreaming. Now when he told me of his dreams, which had become simpler, I would say “Okay, when you are better”. I thought he would get better in the beginning but as time went by it became clear he would not.

When I realized he would not recover, it became harder for me to go along with his hopes and dreams. I know he wanted to hear that I wanted what he did, but I knew everything he was hoping and dreaming for he would not live long enough to see. My views had not changed on hoping and dreaming, just my replies to him. I felt like I was lying to him. It felt wrong. But all he had left were his hopes and dreams. Who was I to take them away from him? He was able to leave the world with his hopes and dreams still intact. My hope was that it made him happy.

I often wonder when he was able to look in the mirror if he saw himself as he was or he saw the man in his hopes and dreams. I guess in the end it really does not matter. Just that he was happy.