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Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Dream

A dark, starless night along an unlit road. Pitch black. Michael is at the wheel; I am in the seat next to him.  We are otherwise alone in the car. He has failed to put the headlights on so we are driving ahead blindly. When I realize this, I calmly reach over and turn them on, illuminating the road ahead at last. Then, a second or two later, I understand I am to take the wheel and steer this car, but from my position in the passenger's seat.  Michael sits back and allows me to take over; we drive safely through the night.

This dream came to me years ago when Michael was still well enough to be working, driving, and participating fairly fully in family life.  I understood immediately its meaning, though I hoped it wouldn't be so. Alas, I have had to take full control of our drive through life; I have had to illuminate the road before us. But Michael is still the provider, his pension allowing us to survive comfortably without worry despite the discomfort of this disease, still in the driver's seat even if he cannot work the controls anymore, our relative material wealth his accomplishment.

We are alone together, navigating the dark road of this illness.

One day, I suppose, I will be completely alone in that driver's seat.

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